In last week’s blog, we talked about keeping your kids safe in the car, providing resources to ensure you know how to find the right seat and install it properly. Of course, you know the importance of making sure everyone is safely restrained each time you are going for a ride. If only it were that easy to convince little junior, so he would happily jump in and buckle up without a fuss. We have a few ideas to share to make things run more smoothly.
Be consistent. From day one, buckle up every time. No exceptions. You can’t predict when an accident may occur, so you must be prepared at any time. Also, children learn through consistency. Making an exception “just this once” interrupts the learning process, giving the child permission to try to negotiate his or her way out of the carseat again.
Be a role model. It’s much more important to show children appropriate behavior than it is to tell them about it. If you buckle up every time, they are much more likely to do so.
Investigate resistance. Is your little one crying about the carseat? Make sure belts aren’t too tight, pinching little legs. Is it possible that they need some time to run and stretch, a snack, or a nap? Are they ready (according to safety guidelines) to turn around to a front facing position and tired of not being able to see what’s going on around them? There’s a possibility that there could be an easy solution to the problem.
Make it fun. You may cringe at the thought of singing The Wheels On the Bus again, but if that fun CD makes the ride a bit easier, it’s well worth it. Check out the toy section at your favorite store – there are great activities that attach to the carseat for all ages. Plastic links are a great alternative, attaching almost any favorite toy to the seat, and keeping it out of the floorboard. If you have extra seats, let your child buckle in a stuffed animal next to him. You may want to stop by our Pinterest, where we have great Road Trip ideas for entertaining kids that can be used anytime, and a new board to help you find what you need to keep Carseat Calm. Would you like to add your ideas? Just contact us with your email address and will add you as a guest pinner.
Remember, it is completely normal for your little one to test the limits now and again. He or she may truly want to be out of the carseat. It’s okay to listen and to show them you understand, but giving in is far too risky. These tips and your own creativity should have you rolling merrily along.