If you have more than one child, certainly you understand the significance of the car seating-arrangement and how it affects the quality of the “ride.” If your child is content with his or her seat position, it directly influences the driver’s degree of sanity. Careful analysis is required if you spend great part of your day on the road with kids in tow or are planning a summer road trip.
Pay attention folks, this is more important than the dinner table seat assignments!
1. Social Factor:
Study the interactions between distinct personalities in depth prior to designating seating. This factor alone can make or break the peace of any journey. Be sure to seat those that fight the LEAST in closest proximity to one another. Hence, they’ll be more apt to share games, snacks and cooperate with all the “passings” of goods that are constantly dispersed between passengers during all road trips.
2. Personal Work Space:
Try to give priority to the eldest children to choose their seats in designated areas that are surrounded by open pockets, side cubby holes and generalized areas to “stash their stuff.” Older kids like to create little “nooks” to the likes of an office desk so they can organize and utilize their supplies at will.
(NOTE: This is not necessary with babies or toddlers that still lack the dexterity to retrieve and store their goods independently.)
3. Window Treatment:
Put the feistiest ones near the window. Count on this as a natural distraction at least part of the time. Then, when absolutely necessary to avoid a full-blown war, you tell the window-eers to check out the- bird, motorcycle, purple car, storm clouds or whatever-the-heck-else you can invent on the shot. Soon enough, they’ll shift their focus to staring outside the window and ultimately forgetting about the most recent brawl.
Assign tasks to each child according to his seat position. For example, the one that sits in the center of the row just behind the front one, is directly responsible for receiving all goods and functions as the primary distributor to all area locations. The one seated directly behind the DVD screen controls the remote and ensures that the volume is adjusted as requested.
5. Safety Locks for Doors and Windows:
If you must seat active toddlers near windows for the calming purposes discussed in No. 3, be sure to have all door and window switches de-activated with child safety locks. These are precisely the same children that will look for ways to escape via open doors and windows when stopped at a traffic light.
If you’re unsure how to embark upon such a monumental task, I recommend beginning with a vehicle blueprint and a few diagrams identifying the pros and cons of various hypothetical scenarios. You can also experiment and acquire solid data via trial and error- just be sure to clearly articulate that the TEMPORARY assignments are not final. Remember that as the children’s relationships with one another evolve, positions will need to be renegotiated.