5 Ways to Keep Your Kids From Distracting You While You Drive

LOL 10

kids in carHere's a bit of news that might surprise you: a new study has found that driving with children is 12 times more distracting than driving while talking on your cellphone. Twelve times! While I'm all for the villainization of the use of a phone while driving, it seems like my general outrage has been misdirected. This whole time it wasn't the iPhone that was the problem, it was those little monsters in the backseat causing most of the safety concerns.

So, what's a mom to do?

Whenever there's an errand to run, moms should just lock their kids in the bathroom with a phone and a bag of pretzels because, I mean, it sounds like everyone's safer when children don't come along for the ride.

More from The Stir: 5 Road Trip Sing-Along Songs Kids Must Learn Before Leaving

But since there are "laws" against "abandoning" your kids and "locking them in a bathroom", it seems like we're stuck in the ultimate catch-22: leave our kids at home, face possible arrest. Take our kids with us, face possible car accident and death.

I guess that means we've gotta become creative with our problem-solving. I'll be honest -- I turned my nose up at those in-car DVD players because I assume they stifle conversation, prohibit imagination, and further corrupt our kids into thinking that TV is their calming, soothing friend when really it's rotting their brains, etc., but now? Shoot. If Aladdin will save a life, I'm all for kids watching a movie while Mom or Dad's behind the wheel.

Or you could hire an entertainer to sit back there with them. A local magician could work, or I know kids who are strangely fascinated with the mailman, so if he's not opposed, maybe he could come along for the ride and as long as you promise to drop off a few letters along the way.

Other than that, I think the only solution might be to install one of those limo driver's windows. Knock twice for crackers, three times if there's blood, four times if your bladder has reached its threshold, five times if you see red and blue spinny lights.

Then again, there's always some sleeping pills.

How do you keep your kids calmly entertained in the car while you're driving?


Photo via jen cu/Flickr



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corri... corrinacs

I love your suggestions, they made me laugh LOL.

But you are right, they are darn right distracting.  I turned my first son around at 1 (he was at weight limit too) because of the incessant screaming-choking thing he'd do.  Turned around and he was happy as a lark!  Parents can say all they want, but a mommy that's more alert is much less likely to have an accident in the first place!

And I have this odd habit of looking at the cars behind me through my rearview mirror when I'm at a stoplight or sign.  I don't know why.  But I guess if they didn't look like they were slowing down, I'd get the fuck out there if I could LOL

Tracys2 Tracys2

I taught mine very young that when I say "quiet! Tricky driving coming up" or even "driving!" I will completely ignore them for a few minutes. They are now (at 4, 6, and 7) good at staying quiet after I do that.

Other than that, I just never look back at them or hand them th (they also know "wait for a stop")

MammaSam MammaSam

Where are the 5 ways? I see jokes but no real suggestions.Ad by the way, my kid is two and a half and the only way she is getting my attention while driving is if she chokes, and that's when I would pull over. I don't mind chit chatting but when she asks me for things I tell her too bad you'll have to wait. And guess what she does? Waits. Whether she is mad or not, her life is more important than her happiness.

insei... inseineangel

As long as I put on the classic rock station while we're driving, my daughter is perfectly fine. She either falls asleep, or looks out the back window. 

luvbe... luvbeinamommy68

we have the dvd player. we do alot of traveling. and we are about to take our longest road trip ever! kansas to iowa to florida! if i didnt have that dvd player i would loose my mind lol! put on mickey mouse with a snack and we are good to go! :)

gabe05 gabe05

Books on cd are my lifesaver.  Kids and I all fully engaged, entertained, and occupied.  Plus we've been able to enjoy Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Bobby Pendragon, the American Girl books, Alcatraz Smedrey, Peter and Fudge Hatcher, Ramona, and Junie B. Jones as a family.  I'd be willing to give up my AC and heater before the CD player!

Deborah Kronk

Am I the only one who doesn't feel distracted with the kids in the car? I have a 15 month old who is perfectly content staring out the window while I drive and a 4 month old who just falls asleep. Neither of them make a peep during car rides.

When I first heard the results of this study I was blown away. I'm much more distracted when I'm alone in the car and I have to answer a call.

Konfl... Konflickted5

My kids aren't distracting at all. My two year old sings right along with me and the radio. If he drops something, he knows he has to wait until I stop to grab it, and it might not be the first stop I make (short red lights/stop signs).

Michelle L. Miller

When I ran a home daycare, every errand "we" had to run was made with a sing-a-long CD or other children's music. I never left home without these!

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