One in five parents say they have either had or almost had a car accident due to their children’s unsettled behaviour.

• Peugeot research pinpoints 31 minutes into the average British car journey before cries of “Are We Nearly There Yet?” break out

• An alarming 62% of parents happier without children in the car while 65% of parents think they suffer more than their kids on long journeys

• Peugeot & Professor Tanya Byron provide essential tips on turning nightmare journeys into quality time this half-term at www.peugeot.co.uk/arewenearlythereyet

With summer break underway all across the UK families are getting ready to pack up and set out for car journeys as they start their holidays on the road. New research from Puegeot commissioned for the launch of the new 308, revelas how frazzled the nerves will be and how the arguments will be going long before most reach journey’s end. Fifty-five percent of UK parents admit to having lost their temper when on long car journeys with their children.

Over 62% said they are happier when their children are not in the car with them and 43% said they feel irritable, anxious and angry at times when on journeys. Living in an age when family is less and less this time together is a wasted opportunity for the parents. They could be doing activities and making the most from their captive audiences.

Professor Tanya Byron, Child Psychologist worked with Peugeot on the study and pointed out many easy and highly effective ideas you can implement will help stressed out parents to change hours of angst into hours of fun quality family time.

It is important to make the journey a part of the overall fun of a vacation because a stressful ine with fighting kids and whining kids will do nothing but cause tension and eventually lead to arguments and an unbearable atmosphere in the vehicle and that can overshadow even before it gets started.

“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.”

Even once the journey’s underway, there’s a lot that parents can do to keep boredom at bay and kids calm. While a worrying 60% of parents admit to lying to keep their children quiet and a further 71% confess to offering bribes of sweets to distract their kids, there shouldn’t be any need to resort to either of these potentially damaging quick fixes.

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:
• Distraction
• Communication
• Relaxation
• Having fun!

“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.”

Are we nearly there yet?

Every parent will be familiar with the warning shot across the bow as wriggling children reach their patience thresholds and the first cries of ‘are we nearly there yet’ ring out from the backseat. Peugeot’s poll of more than 2,000 UK parents pinpoints 31 minutes into a long car journey as the moment when those fateful words can first be heard. And the first warning comes only two minutes earlier, 29 minutes into the average journey, as children first show signs of boredom, leaving parents little time to react if they haven’t taken steps already.

But the serious side to in car harmony is safety, as one in five parents say they have either had or almost had a car accident due to their children’s unsettled behaviour, making easy to follow tips and advice all the more important.

For Professor Tanya Byron’s full list of travel tips to make long car journeys something to look forward to rather than dread, visitwww.peugeot.co.uk/arewenearlythereyet to download the free guide.