It’s nearly road trip season and more often than not, one of my favorite parts of vacation is the time we spend in the car. Yes, in the car.
After eight years of parenting (and multiple attempts to keep our kids occupied sans the DVD player), we have finally decided to just let our kids watch as much TV as they want while we are in the car (on road trips only, not on everyday driving).
Nine hours of unlimited TV time might seem horrific, at worst, or lazy parenting, at best. But we prefer to call it marriage enrichment.
You see, when we pop a DVD in the player and our kids are quiet and occupied, my husband and I can take time to truly talk. We dream together, hash out parenting issues, reminisce about memories, and plan for our future.
And for the record, I have tried just about every suggestion known to man (and Pinterest) about keeping kids occupied in the car. I’ve bought Dollar Store trinkets and travel games, all of which inevitably end up either broken or dropped on the floor, ultimately result in a meltdown of epic proportions…or the need for a chiropractor after bending and twisting to pick up the pieces of the floor.
I still bring plenty of books and a few pads of paper. Surprisingly our kids will get tired of watching the DVD player and want to do something else for a while (all on their own), so rather than micromanage we just let them choose what they want to do in the car.
And as for feeling guilty, we don’t. Our kids don’t have much screen time throughout a normal week, so having several continuous hours of it for a few days a year isn’t going to hurt them. :) Plus, hour-long conversations with our spouse offer great bookends for a vacation!
What about you? Do you let your child watch unlimited TV in the car on road trips?