Survive the Drive

Top tips to road tripping with teens…

Does the prospect of a cross-country road trip with the kids seem formidable? How do you get moody teens to truly enjoy themselves or better yet, tear their gaze away from a cellphone or iPad screen to enjoy the view that you have driven 500 kilometres to show them? It may sound like a task of mammoth proportions, but it doesn’t have to be…

The point of taking a road trip is to take a break from your normal day-to-day routine, which includes not hassling your teens to do chores, watching the clock or even eating their daily greens. And before you can ask ‘are you a belieber?’ your kids will slip into the pace of the trip easier than you think.

Don’t make them watch the view:

Roadtripping with TeensThey’ll start watching the view in their own good time. You can point out stuff like windmills and cows and cosmos, but let them ease into the idea of ‘looking up’

Don’t fight it – just give them the device

Roadtripping with TeensLet them play their game on the iPad or phone. They’ll get tired of it soon enough and get into a book, or stare out the window. Don’t give them a movie to watch: A movie imposes a set time period on the activity: The idea of a road trip is to let them go with the flow; to choose how to pass the time.

Get them to take photos:

Roadtripping with TeensIf your teen seriously cannot put the device down, get them to participate in an activity that may involve using it. Try getting them to take photos or set a creative challenge for them – they’ll take a million photos of cloud, and before you know it, they will be enjoying the view.

Let them choose the music:

Roadtripping with TeensThis can most certainly be a big deal and may even make or break your road trip – but if you can stand the likes of Bieber, Katy Perry and Miss Swift, it is better to lose this battle in exchange for a more cheery teen. Eventually, they’ll get into the groove of the trip, and start appreciating the time out of their normal routine.

Pencils and paper:

Roadtripping with TeensPack a box of crayons and a drawing pad. Not so you can play Battleships (they don’t want to play battleships just yet!) but so they can scribble or draw if they’d like to and get their creative juices flowing.


Roadtripping with TeensThis may sound like a long shot, but there is no harm in trying! Pack the books and surprisingly they may get through more reading than normal, mainly because there’s nothing to interrupt them – no friends coming by, no homework and no TV.

We love hearing about how you survive road trips with your teens, share your stories with us.

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