11 m, 3.5 and 7yrs Road-trip Remedies


Hello! We have three usually well behaved children who were all raised on the Parenting By the Book philosophy. They sleep in their own beds, do normal age appropriate chores, have normal sibling spats and respond well to the ticket system/time outs etc. We homeschool and our home life and social life is by in large quite pleasant.

Until we do a 3hr road trip. (We have family that lives 3hrs away so we do this trip monthly) They love to get in the car and "go" anywhere...church...park....friend's house...pool....library...etc. And they are good for short 30 minute car rides. I feel like a car ride should be a calm, one person speaks at a time type of experience. Our kids ages are almost 7, 3.5 and 11 months. (The baby is always great in the car) But once we hit the 60 minute mark in the car ride, the two older kids will bicker/whine/argue/over exaggerate/taunt each other. I have put the baby and her carseat in the middle to help physically separate them which has helped a bit. I have tried the ticket system before in the car and it has worked some. We used it on the way to the beach once (4hr car ride) and they knew if they lost their tickets they couldn't jump in the ocean right away (read that from a JR blog) But it has also backfired and one has lost all the tickets and we still had miles and miles left to drive with a screaming whining kid who is upset that they lost everything. (Screaming in the car is a hot button I lose my mind!) We have cds/books/toys/snacks/coloring in the car that they lose interest in after an hour. No one but the baby ever sleeps in the car ...we have left at various times of the day to try to time a good car ride nap to no avail.

I really don't want to resort to allowing them to watch a DVD on car rides but I wanted your opinion on it. If they still had their tickets at the 1 hour mark of a car trip then we could show a DVD for the remainder 2 hours the car ride and hopefully have a more pleasant experience.

So my question is looking for advice/feedback on how to handle discipline on long car trips and your opinion on electronics in the car?

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