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Talking it over: Kids and travel

Children get bored when riding a long distance in a vehicle. Let’s face it, they get bored even riding a short distance. Strapped up tight in a car seat is simply too confining for energetic little people.

Parents really do have it made these days with the addition of movie players in vehicles. It is unbelievable how quiet a child can become in a car when you get those movies up and running. However, for grandparents who don’t have a clue about running them, it can be a nightmare.

My husband and I don’t have a movie player in our car. The grandchildren have asked why several times but we just didn’t see the need for one. Recently I have started to rethink that decision.

On several occasions we have had a couple of our grandchildren ride with us. They are immediately bored and often start arguing or trying to out talk (yell) each other. I have tried to revert back to the old car games we used to play with our children. Looking for things that start with each letter of the alphabet or even finding license plates from each state.

The grandchildren have also taught us some games. They say “I spy with my little eye, something red (or blue, green, whatever.) Then you have to start looking around and guessing. It is fun for awhile but wears pretty thin quite soon. Especially when the item they would spy was about ten miles behind you.

On one of our trips with the grandchildren we borrowed a movie player that we set between the two front seats so both children could see it. This worked, however, I had to turn very uncomfortably in my seat to make adjustments or to hold it in place. The movie would skip or shut off with a big bump so I had to try to hold the player very still.  It was not a comfortable trip and I got just a little car sick from looking back so much.

Recently we have resorted to a game that our parents used to play and now we know why. We played Little Red Schoolhouse where everyone had to remain perfectly quiet and the first one to make a sound lost. The last one to speak was the winner. We had several very quiet, peaceful miles of travel. I guess our parents really did know best when it came to some things.