The majority of parents embrace the chance to travel with their children. Nothing’s more rewarding than seeing your kids embrace different cultures. But, taking kids away can be stressful when they have fears about travel. Some such worries are common amongst youngsters. Concerns about planes or boats haunt many young minds. These things are, after all, fairly unfamiliar.
Sometimes, though, such fears can be much closer to home. While less common, there are children out there with phobias of car rides. And, with that the case, it can be near enough impossible to travel far at all.
If this sounds familiar to you, it’s time you addressed the issue. Your child deserves to enjoy travel, and so do you. Which is why you should take note of the following stress management techniques for overcoming the problem.
Get to the root of the fear
As with any fear, it’s likely that there’s a deep-seated reason that your child gets so stressed in the car. Sometimes, this will be obvious. Perhaps they saw a car crash when they were younger, or knew a friend who was injured in one? Other times, their worries may be a complete mystery to you.
Sit them down and ask them how the car makes them feel. Car sickness could be at the root of their worries. Or, they may feel claustrophobic in the back seat. These are issues you can address and overcome. But, you won’t be able to do that until you know what’s going on.
Any parent knows the power of distraction, and that can work well for you here, too. If you can’t get to the bottom of the cause, this may be your best hope. Sometimes, fears and stresses come about through nothing more than overthinking. And, if that’s your child’s problem, distractions could be the cure. That means packing plenty of goodies to keep them amused.
You could even take their favorite foods and coloring pages along to keep them happy. A picnic in the car is sure to take their mind off their worries. You could really make an event of this by taking along a cooler full of goodies on that long journey.
If you don’t have anything suitable as it stands, do a quick search of ‘what are the best coolers on the market’, and see what you find. Think, too, about taking along things which your child is only allowed in the car. Something like a book they can only read while on the road could work well. That way, they’ll have something to look forward to, instead of focusing on fear.
Take small drives before the big event
If you are planning a long vacation drive, it’s essential you don’t jump in at the deep end. Instead, take test journeys. If you’re going to be in the car for three or four hours, build this gradually. Take a half hour drive one day; an hour drive the next. Keep going until your child adjusts to these distances.