Surviving the family road trip

  • Article by: Bill Ward , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 24, 2013 - 12:04 PM

DVDs, iPads and Nintendos have revolutionized the family road trip. But savvy parents still encourage their kids to unplug.

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mossisleJul. 23, 13 9:58 PM

My daughter had just finished kindergarten when we made a long camping/road trip out west without a DVD player etc. Instead, she read the first Harry Potter novel. She then skipped first grade, never stopped reading and is now a senior at Yale. Please encourage your children to read, especially on a long trip.

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asdfasdfJul. 24, 13 6:54 AM

Do people honestly think our parents played those games to build memories? They did it for the same reason some parents now use computers, to make the trip with kids bearable. Using the same logic of the article we should go back to covered wagons because I'm quite certain that extended time with the family also lead to more memories.

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brightonjimJul. 24, 13 7:21 AM

We all tend to pick and choose the memories that are the best and present them as the typical experience. Electronics in the car has made our long-driving trips far more peaceful. And we turn them off when we stop, whether at a rest stop or our destination. I think it's possible to have a balance.

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unionsrockJul. 24, 13 7:55 AM

Parents, please limit the screen time for your children - at home or on the road. Having children read is one of the best ways to increase their literacy and give them a better chance for success. I'm NOT advocating no screen time, just limit it by making time for other activities that will stimulate their neural connections.

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mixie7Jul. 24, 13 8:21 AM

mossisle: that's a fantastic story, and highlights the main point of the article, I think, which it seems is to allow that "hole" of boredom kick in as that's where the creativity begins and memories are made. I was a hold out on the Pilot's DVD player for years. Had a bin with activities and just let them keep blowing through that. Eventually I caved, and now it's this huge deal to go on a roadtrip and watch a movie. The rest of the time they draw, read or we chat about random stuff. We explicitly don't allow the "B" word, or no movie next time. I think a balance has been good for all of us!

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TabarnooshJul. 24, 13 9:17 AM

For many of us who parented before all the electronic gizmos I say iPads, DVD's and nintendos are cheating. You're cheating yourself and your kids from LIFE. Parents need to parent and teach kids to, you know, be creative to keep occupied. Creative like color or read or play with some car toys or play road games, sing along songs or whatever. ENGAGE with your kids!!! Don't be lazy parents. Don't let others raise your kids. You only get a very short time with them at those ages. Before you know it they have kids of their own.....with DVD's and iPads in their cars.

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scubadoo68Jul. 24, 1311:27 AM

I can't really see the difference between a book and a DVD other than the medium. You want to teach your kids creativity, rely more on the content of what they are watching. Documentaries and non-fiction can be very entertaining and some fiction can be very thought provoking.

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