Jeremy Olson writes about children and families, and is an overscheduled father of two. His blog tackles the best and worst of parenting, families, health and love. He wants to hear from you - what's going on in your house?
You can tell, sometimes before the door slams shut and the engine turns over, when your kids are going to make a drive a living hell on four wheels. A new Good Housekeeping/Yahoo! survey of 252 moms found that 52 percent felt their driving was impaired when their kids fought in the car. One in five of the moms said they were always or almost always breaking up kids' fights while driving.
In my car, the opening salvo by my son against my daughter -- or vice versa -- often has to do with whether he slides over or tucks in his legs so his sister can slide over to the open seat.
The fight never has anything to do with the seat, of course, or even about each other. Something else gnaws at one of my kids, who uses his or her sibling as an opportunity to vent. But the net result is a buzzsaw of noise that cuts to my brain when I'm supposed to be concentrating on the road.
The new distracted driving survey seemed light on newsy details. It didn't surprise me that moms played the radio, fiddled with the temperature, or ate or drank in the car, although I was relieved that only 4 percent of surveyed moms admitted to fixing their hair while driving and only 7 percent emailed or texted while driving. But the kid fighting results struck a chord with me, and I'm betting with many other parents as well. Please comment below. How do you handle kids fighting in the car? Are you a "pull over and wait until they are quiet" parent? Are you able to ignore (or prevent?) your kids' back-seat skirmishes?