How bad is the traffic situation in Metro Manila? Well, we know of one mom who keeps an arinola (or chamber pot) in her car. You laugh (so did we), but it goes to show the, er, adjustments we all make to survive our traffic-ridden city. With back-to-school season upon us, waking up at 3:30 a.m. is necessary just to get the kids to school on time. And once we pick them up after school, the whole family has to sit through heavy traffic again. It’s enough to drive the everyone crazy.
So we asked moms how for simple solutions that keep their and their kid’s sanity intact during school days.
1. Stash snacks and drinks inside the car. Because we’re in a mad rush to get out of the house, we sometimes forget to eat breakfast, especially the older kids who are too lazy to get up and get ready for school. Take advantage of the heavy traffic, and make sure your kids don’t skip meals by letting them eat inside the car. If you want to lessen the mess, you can buy car dining trays online — they can hold bottles and food so they don’t spill while you’re on the move.
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2. Be ready with neck pillows. Neck pillows are sleep savers according to moms in our Facebook Group, Smart Parenting Village. And remember it's the ideal when your child is wearing a seatbelt. Just make sure you don't put the pillows on top of the back seat when not in use. You don't want to cover the your view from the rear windshield.
3. Have a change of clothes ready. We are inspired by this mom who keeps a toothbrush and a pair of pajamas in her car so she doesn't have to wrangle her toddler to bed. It can apply to our preschoolers and big kids who can get out of their uniforms and into clean clothes when you pick them up from school. And if they fall asleep inside the car, you can just transfer them from the car to the bed without waking them up.
4. Make a backseat organizer to hold toys and other items. The long drive to and from school may bore the heck out of your kids, so keep them entertained with their favorite toys and books inside the car. Use an over-the-door plastic organizer and hang it behind the passenger seat so kids can easily reach out and pick what toys they want to play with.
5. Review lessons while stuck in traffic. Though your kids might hate it, you can while away the time by helping your kids study. Make a game out of it —quickfire questions and make sure they can answer in under a minute!
6. Listen to storybooks. Of course, turning on the car TV or letting them play with tablets will keep them preoccupied, but you can also cut the screen time by entertaining them with audio storybooks! There are free storybooks that you can download online with lively narration and exciting plot lines that will keep the kids hooked. Click here for a list!
7. Sing your heart out. There’s nothing like your favorite tunes to keep the stress caused by traffic away. Thanks to technology, your kid’s favorite songs can easily be streamed on Spotify, but if you want to up the notch, buy a portable microphone and let your child belt it out!