Found a nice holiday address, but in the south of France.

And so you step into the car with your family in good spirits.

Unfortunately, you have not yet crossed the border when the children start to grumble.

How do you ensure that they keep up with the journey?

A child psychologist gives four tips.

Hours in the car on the way to a beautiful holiday destination: in 2020 more than 4.5 million Dutch people went abroad by car, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands. This includes many families: at 2.6 million Dutch people, the travel group consisted of adults and children. That often means long journeys with children in the back seat.

After hours in a hot car, the atmosphere can get a bit annoying: arguing, chattering and whining will sound familiar to many parents.

"Children get bored at some point," says child and youth psychologist Ger Ramakers.

"If they're having fun, it's no good for a child. But if they're bored, they can demand attention in a negative way. Children don't have such a long attention span, while parents get to their destination as quickly as possible. want to be."

1. Make good agreements

The psychologist's advice?

Make good arrangements about the ride and ask your children what they want to take with them to keep themselves occupied on the road.

"Children can indicate that very well themselves."

In addition, according to Ramakers, it is important to regularly stop along the way.

"There are plenty of places along the highway where there are also playgrounds and where you can play for a while. Small children especially have the need to run around for a while and lose their energy. In that case the journey takes a little longer, but the quality is better."

2. Provide variety

In addition to exercise, variety on the road is also an important element of a good car journey.

"As a parent, make sure you have different things with you so that they can alternate. In general, children don't like playing the same game for six hours at a time," says Ramakers.

Also an option: sit next to your child in the back, so you can play a game together and pay attention to your son or daughter."

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3. Positive Distraction

Did you drive too long with nagging children as a result?

"It is then best to provide positive distraction. Give another game or something tasty."

What also works: a screen.

"Then it is no longer a problem at all. You can agree a specific time with your child in advance, so that your child knows where he or she stands."

4. Don't argue

The most important thing is to show that you as a parent are in control.

"Keep calm yourself and don't get into a discussion, don't get angry and if at all possible: take a break. If the moment a child starts whining, a parking lot passes by, that is a good time to stop."

Are the children not rewarded?

"You have to compensate children a bit for the discomfort you cause them. Really keep in mind that it is much harder for them than for you as a parent," says Ramakers.

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