“Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s House we go…””
Clearly, this is a summer possibility with our small children and after reading different advice online, I tend to disagree with some of it and here is why :
To travel at night so the kiddos can be no problem and wake refreshed is one piece of advice out there that is leaving out the primary condition for arriving well at any destination : that is, have a safe driver.
Have the driver sleepy and the passengers asleep – how inadvisable is that ?!
Okay; but now what do we do ? It is best to pack the car mostly the night before, have some small snacks ready , and leave very early and even with children in pajamas if need be ( who is doing a fashion assessment ?). The children might be drowsy at 5 a.m., the roads largely clear !
Our first stop can be for breakfast together, bathroom, and a diaper and clothes change …however , a total trip in pajamas is fun !
Our next stop can be two hours or less at a corn field to relieve ourselves ( of course we brought wipes and a zip lock bag for our trash),
Award some responsibilities on the trip to our older children (3 and up) such as : time checker to tell when it is “time” for a stop, announcer of problems younger ones have, reporter of interesting and amazing sites for everyone to see such as a large chicken on top of a restaurant.
Most of us can recall the joys and miseries of long distance car traveling with our parents and going to the bathroom in a jar, seeing a martian painted on a water tower are up there with Dad’s jokes.
Seriously, be sure to anticipate needs and they will not be a torrential issue.
Medically, it is a fact to remember that it is not healthy for our bodies to “hold it” to go to the bathroom and for children this an cause long range issues ; so please stop an offer the opportunity here and there and funny everywhere along the way .
You can include a family jog in place , bounce up and down, tree touch race, back and forth to one side of a sidewalk or small space traverse game…touch, touch….be imaginative parents and fun and your children will be too.
As far as zone out radio and videos, this usually diminishes the benefits and uniqueness of the opportunity for family togetherness as one or another one is submerged in “their thing”.
To determine to be together in the journey can be bonding like any endurance experience and the surviving of it can become a victory with memories of hilarious things .
Once the dependence moves away from media to mind and heart for resource, it is amazing .