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Driven to distraction

There is nothing worse when driving, than world war three erupting in the back. This is thanks to our darling children’s ability to scream, shout and fight while we desperately try to concentrate on the matter in hand.

As mothers, we are invariably the ones fetching and carrying our precious cargo from a seemingly endless number of after school events, let alone the school run, so the ownness rather falls on us. What should we do?

The Golden rule is to nip it in the bud before it all kicks off. If you don’t, it is like a volcano on the brink of eruption. You think you can remain cool, calm and collected, but suddenly the anger builds up with, in some cases, disastrous consequences. You inevitably start screaming back at them and automatically turn your head to face the children as you bellow out ‘will you please stop fighting’ or words to that effect.

What has happened here is a) you have dangerously taken your eyes off the road and b) all your concentration is now on the children’s antics. Are you in control of the car? Absolutely not and believe me I have been there.

So, as soon as you feel frazzled by their behaviour, find a safe place to park and simply refuse to move until   whatever fickle thing they are arguing or fighting over is sorted.

Once stopped, very calmly announce that you could and will stay here all day if need be until the problem is solved. Play your favourite CD that you now keep in the car for emergencies such as this, along with a magazine, face the front and start reading. Do not look at the children. Believe me, they will be so shocked as to what you have done, silence will miraculously reign and a peaceful onward journey will be ensured.

However you have to be consistent. Slip up once and shout back, you will find yourself back in square one.

I know during the school run in particular everyone is on a very tight time schedule. But to quote the old saying ‘its better to get there late than not at all’.

Jackie Violet’s Top Tips To Avoid Being Distracted

1. Find somewhere safe to park.

2. Refuse to move until problem is solved.

3. Put on your favourite CD

4. Pretend to be engrossed in a magazine

5. As soon as the problem is solved, reiterate you will stop again if they miss-behave.

6. Explain to them why you have to concentrate when driving and how dangerous distractions can be.

Happy peaceful motoring.

Jackie Violet
Motoring Correspondent

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