New research from Peugeot commissioned to support the launch of the new Peugeot 308 reveals that 55 per cent of parents admit to losing their temper with the kids during long car journeys.
A huge 62 per cent of parents admit to being happier without their children in the car and 43 per cent say they feel anxious, irritable or simply angry when travelling with their children.
Child Psychologist Professor Tanya Byron, working with Peugeot on the study suggests a number of ideas which are easy to implement and can help stressed out parents.
She said: "In order to ensure a happy holiday, it's important to make sure the journey there can be part of the fun too," suggests Tanya. "A stressful journey with whining and fighting kids can cause huge tension and lead to arguments and a bad atmosphere that can overshadow the holiday barely before it has begun.
"It's only natural that being confined in a small space for a long time will lead children to become bored and in need of distraction and stimulation. However rather than leaving them to their own devices and allowing that frustration to build towards shouting and arguing, be one step ahead and prepare activities and games that will keep them occupied and their minds engaged."
Whilst on a journey, 60 per cent of parents admit to lying to their children quiet and 71 per cent confess to offering bribes of sweets in order to distract their children.
Tanya Byron goes on to say: "It is estimated that sustained attention to a task will range from about five minutes for a two year old to around 20 minutes for older children and adults. Given that children are frustrated by the lack of freedom in a car, it is vital that there are a variety of tasks and activities that they can engage with in order to reduce their frustrations and improve the quality of the long car journey for everyone.
"A car journey family tool kit1 should include activities and tasks that enable the following:
"Time spent creatively preparing different activities and fun for the kids, with a variety on hand that can be rotated when the span of attention has finished, will ensure a smoother and happier journey for all. Try to vary the activities in terms of the senses engaged e.g. follow a memory game with a sing song which then leads into some creative play.
"Reward activities successfully completed with healthy treats and stickers on individual charts2, which can be exchanged for treats (a comic, pack of football cards etc.) during breaks in the journey."
Peugeot's research shows that the line that every parent waits to hear "are we nearly there yet" occurs 31 minutes into a long journey, with the first signs of boredom occurring 29 minutes into a journey, just 2 minutes before the question is asked.
Possibly the most serious figure in the research is that one in five parents say they have either had or almost had a car accident due to their children's unsettled behaviour.
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