When you have children, you suddenly become responsible for the well-being of another individual beside you. For a lot of parents, the new responsibility can create anxiety, as you keep worrying about whether you will be able to cope with what life throws in your direction. Anxiety, unfortunately, can affect all aspects of your life and can be triggered by almost anything. While living in the moment and being mindful of your thoughts and being can help to manage your fears, it may not be enough to shut them down completely. After all, certain situations can feel more challenging than others as a parent, such as driving with kids. Indeed, the voice of anxiety keeps reminding you that you are not in control, and, when it comes to driving, it has a point. You can’t control what is happening on the passenger seat or what other vehicles are doing. But you can try to relax by preparing yourself:
Be a mindful driver
There’s a reason why many of us have large stickers at the back of cars to inform other drivers that we’ve got kids on board. We’re trying to reduce the risk of car accidents. As silly as it sounds, most parents hope that family stickers can help to reduce road rage and aggressive driving on the road. Admittedly, most drivers will be more considerate if you have a child in the car, but it doesn’t stop dangerous driving. Therefore, if you find yourself getting irritated by other vehicles, it’s important to keep your behaviour as relaxed as possible. You’re not only a role model, but your child will also gauge the situation based on your reaction, which means road rage behaviours can make them anxious. In the unfortunate event of a collision – hopefully without severe damage –, an aggressive attitude won’t help. Instead, stay calm and focus on finding the legal team you need to protect your rights. Emotional drivers only transfer their fears and anger to their kids!
Invest in safety equipment
You can’t control other vehicles on the road, but you can boost your car with the best safety equipment to stay on the safe side. A suitable car seat for your child is a no-brainer. Be careful to choose a model that is EU certified and has performed well in crash tests. Those seats are there for a reason, so it’s worth spending a little more if it keeps your child safe.
You can also retroactively add a rear and front camera to your vehicle, to help in traffic but also to record potentially dangerous situations. It’s a great backup when you feel that other drivers’ behaviours are threatening or unsafe.
Help small kids deal with car anxiety
Some children can get nervous in cars. It can be helpful to teach them breathing exercises to relax. Helping your child to become aware of their breathing and to control the technique to calm themselves can completely transform the driving experience. Every parent finds it challenging to stay focused on the road with a screaming child sitting in the car!
The bottom line is that you need to acknowledge that your driving anxiety is justified when you have children on board. However, rather than letting the fears overcome you, you can find ways to address your worries. Things are not always as easy as finding a solution to a problem, but ensuring you’re doing your best to stay safe can help you and your family to relax.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.