Dreading long trips with your toddler? This is a concern for most parents all around the world. Nobody wants the embarrassment of apologizing to the entire plane for the endless shrieks, or the headache of being trapped in a car with a screaming child – and of course, no parent wants to see their child in tears.
Fortunately, there are a number of different techniques you can use to keep your toddlers distracted, without simply using bribery or negative reinforcement. Who knows: you might even find the journey becomes an enjoyable part of the trip.
1. Fill Them In
This might sound obvious, but giving your children a heads up on the length of the journey will help to minimize the “are we there yet?” style comments. Try to fill them in on all the details that you know will distract them. For example, if you’re catching a long flight, get them excited for the movie that will be shown. Or if there’s an amazing pizza place en route, plan to make a stop so that they have something to look forward to. Most importantly, explain exactly the behavior you expect to see from them during this time so that everything is laid out in advance.