29 minutes | Jun 11, 2018

Episode 067: How to Get Your Kids to Behave in the Car

Are your kids big stinks in the back seat of your car?  Are they driving you nuts while you're driving them places?  Then you'll want to check out this episode.  Janet Cazier, LMFT and mom of seven gives her top tips for getting your kids to behave well while in the car.  Her tips are seriously awesome!  I feel like I have so many more tools to use now. Happy learning! LISTEN ABOVE OR READ THE SUMMARY BELOW Janet Cazier, LMFT Sometimes kids can be the biggest stinkers in the car!  They know that you are occupied with driving, you can't reach them, you're limited in what consequences you can give them, and that tempts them to use behaviors that aren't the best. Luckily, I'm going to share some tips with you that will help your kids behave a lot better when you're driving places. The most important things that I want you to get out of this are: Kids CAN learn how to behave in the care You need to be REALLY clear about what behaviors are not tolerated in the care You need to find creative ways to make misbehaving in the car NO FUN for your kids (read on to learn how) You need to be consistent in responding to poor behavior with an appropriate consequence. Let's dive deeper. Tip #1 Get clear with your kids BEFORE you get in the car This step is so critical.  You need to give your kids a fighting chance at behaving well by talking with them about what kinds of behaviors are OK are which aren't.  We're talking so clear you even write it down. I find that this goes better if you find a way to make it fun and allow your kids to give a lot of input.  This helps them see it positively and be more committed to the plan. Here's a fun, collaborative way I teach people: Get out three sheets of paper Label sheet one: "Things we can't do in the car".  I make it fun by calling this "Skunk" behavior (behavior that stinks) Label sheet two: "Things we can do in the car that are fun!" I call this category "Monkey" behavior (because it's silly like monkeys) Label sheet three: "Quiet things we can do in the car".  I call this category "Angel" behavior (because it's quiet and sweet like an angel) Discuss each "category" with your kids and brainstorm ideas for each category on the paper. Next, teach your kids that "Skunk" behavior is NEVER ok and will always get a consequence Then, teach your kids that "Monkey" behavior is often OK but from time to time, you will need "Angel" behavior (times when you need to concentrate or have a headache, etc.) For the next little while, review behaviors in each category so that your kids remember what is expected in the car. Tip #2 Give a consequence when your kids use behavior that's not allowed in the car Having an appropriate consequence for negative behavior is completely healthy and appropriate.  Some parents are afraid to give their children consequences.  There are some consequences that should be avoided, you can learn more about those here.  But consequences are what make misbehavior uncomfortable for children and make them think twice before misbehaving.  We want our kids thinking about their choices! If you are wondering if consequences damage our children, check out this post. I will tell you, this is where you're going to need to be creative.  Giving a consequence at home is so simple, but giving one in the car is tricky.  Here's a list of ideas to try, but remember the key is: Make your child's misbehavior a problem for THEM not for YOU! Idea #1 Pull Over This idea works great if you're not in a rush.  I would suggest even planning on leaving really early for things if you'd like to try this one.  However, I have found it really effective to have a camp chair and a book you love in the back of the car.  Then when kids are using "Skunk" behavior, you can simply pull over, say "Bummer, you are using X behavior and that's just not allowed in my car.  I will get back in when you're done.",
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