Six tips to keep your kids from fighting on an RV trip
Vacationing in an RV is an experience like no other, but all that “togetherness” sometimes leads to frayed tempers and fights, especially among siblings. No doubt you have to break up fights between your kids at home, but being in each other’s company 24/7, for days on end, can bring out the worst in them if you’re not careful.
RV Advisor has 6 tips and tricks to keep your kids from fighting on the road.
1. Give kids some space
The close quarters of an RV can contribute to conflict. Try not to have them sit together all the time when you’re driving. Once you’re at a campground, designate separate spaces within the RV where each child can go to be alone and decompress, especially when tempers start to fray. This “alone time” is also a good idea for you. Remember, you will be around your family 24 hours a day, and you will need to get away as well.
2. Set up a reward system
It’s not unusual for kids to receive stars for good behavior at school. You probably have something similar at home. Set up a reward system on the road, too. For instance, your kids can get a small treat or a special souvenir if they go all day without fighting. Maybe they can earn stickers for every hour they refrain from bickering. You can even make it a competition, which is always a smart way to make kids behave.
3. Make a lot of pit stops
Being stuck in an RV or car for hours will make most kids restless and bored, and that leads to fights. Plan several stops along the way so your kids can blow off their excess energy and irritability. The younger your kids are – or the more active they are – the more stops you may need to plan.
Visit a roadside attraction or a local gift shop. Take a short nature walk and try to identify the flowers or the birds in the area. Even a game of tag or catch at a rest stop is fine. Another good idea is to try and reach your campground before sunset. Watching the sun go down can mess with the circadian rhythm (your natural wake/sleep pattern), making kids feel sleepy. Sleepy kids are often cranky kids, which means more fighting.
4. Have plenty for the kids to do
Boredom and kids is a recipe for trouble. Make sure you bring plenty of games and activities for the kids. You can go old school with board games, books, and puzzles, but don’t completely leave out the electronics. Bring the smart devices so your kids can play their games, listen to their own music or movies. Yes, the point is to get away from non-stop digital devices, but you don’t need to go cold turkey. Besides, plugging in to a device can be a way for your kids to have some alone time.
5. Play road games
Remember “I Spy” and the “License Plate Game”? A road trip is never truly complete unless you play these games. If you get the inevitable “are we there yet?” question, make that a game, too. Instead of saying “soon” or “not far now” (which is probably not true), take advantage of modern technology to help your kids figure out how much further you need to go.
Put those smart devices to good use and look up the answer on Google Maps. You can also spend time looking up information about your destination. Research the history and find things you’d like to do as a family. Let your kids pick some of the activities. (Getting to choose the day’s activity can even be a reward for not fighting.)
6. Try to stick to a regular schedule
While it may not always be possible, do your best to stick to the same schedule while you’re on the road. If the schedule is close to the one you have at home, even better. Your kids will have a much better attitude if they eat at the same time every day. Hungry kids can easily turn into “hangry” kids. Also, make sure they get enough sleep. There is a temptation to let kids stay up late on vacation, but this can leave them tired and cranky during the day, which sets the stage for conflict and fights.
A family vacation in an RV is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with each other and your kids. Unfortunately, it is also an opportunity for your kids to get into fights. Use these tips from RV Advisor to help nip fighting in the bud so everyone will have a stress-free vacation. If you need more advice about RV-ing with your kids, become an RV Advisor Member today.