Children Fighting in the Car: 5 Ways to Cope

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Raising children is an amazing experience; watching kids learn and grow is one of the most enjoyable experiences in life. It is not, however, without its challenges. As kids grow, they go through phases where they can be difficult to deal with. Parents of grown children will all agree that kids in cars get in arguments. Here are five ways to cope with children fighting in the car.

car trip with kids

1) Give them a comfortable environment – One of the leading causes of kids fighting is boredom. On long trips, kids often resort to starting petty arguments with siblings that can spiral out of control. Giving them plenty of room to sit and entertainment options for long trips. A family car, for example, may offer DVD players that you can use to distract your kids while on the road.

2) Be firm – Make sure the rules are clear before leaving. Fighting will not be allowed, and fighting will lead to punishment. Make sure that you catch them fighting early in the process, and remind them of the consequences. Simply being told that fighting will result in punishment may not be enough, but it will eventually lead to results. Make sure you remind your kids why rules are important; when driving, fighting in the back distracts the driver and can lead to dangerous driving situations.

3) Have fun with your kids – There are a number of games you can play with your kids while driving. Playing I Spy or Twenty Questions can distract your kids and encourage them to enjoy spending time with each other. There are a number of great games you can find online, so do some research before going on long trips. Every game you learn is a weapon in your arsenal to prevent fighting.

4) Be vigilant – Kids often seem to follow scripts before a fight begins. Learn what actions precipitate a fight so that you can step in before their actions intensify. Once kids begin fighting, they often lose the ability to focus on anything else. By ending fights before they begin, you can break the routines that often lead to noisy, angry arguments in the back seat.

5) Long-term rewards – If fighting is frequent, you may need to institute a reward system for long-term success. One possibility is to reward your kids if they can avoid fighting for a week. A simply trip to their favorite restaurant might be enough to encourage them to change their habits. Be strict; do not make exceptions if your kids fail to stop fighting. Fighting often becomes a habit, and a few successful rewards may be enough to break it.

Fighting is dangerous as it can be difficult to concentrate when kids are fighting in the back seat. With some persistence and creativity, however, you can break them of the habit and make driving an enjoyable experience.


  1. I remember those days like they were…August. lol

  2. Great tips….My kids are old enough now that this isn’t an issue but man do I remember those days!

  3. Great tips!

  4. Good tip on the long term rewards!

  5. I used to keep a small toy box between mine to keep them entertained. Every few weeks I would swap stuff out to keep it interesting. They are tweens now but they STILL fight occasionally in the car. Drives me nuts!

  6. Great tips..they start out playing but believe me it always ends in fighting.

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