Dad Duds: Curing the Kid-Car-Fighting Craziness

My kids have an “ON” switch for arguing that activates when their seat-belts are buckled.  The endless fighting, unwarranted touching and talking over each other to “tell” drives me crazy.  Whether a five-minute ride to the store or an hour drive to a soccer tournament, the fighting is relentless.

My first thought to silence the war of words from the back of the van was enlisting the DVD player.  I assumed that would be just the distraction I needed for vehicle peace.  WRONG!

The argument that followed the DVD selection sounded something like:

“I don’t want to watch that again,” says unaware but overly-emotional 3-year old.

“This is a baby movie,” comments self-assured 10 year-old.

“I’m telling.  Dad!  Yosef called my movie a baby movie!” cries Barbie-pushing-to-a-car-of-boys 6 year-old daughter.

After my DVD-dad-fail, I’ve moved onto my second solution – the radio.

It has started to ring true that music does indeed soothe my savage beasts.

Better yet – the “Top 40” radio stations we listen to have me leading sing-a-longs that any other 38 year-old man might be embarrassed to admit.

The car-fighting has stopped when I can start a car sing-a-long party with:

  1. “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber
  2. “My House” by Flo Rida
  3. “Hands to Myself” by Selena Gomez
  4. “One Call Away” by Charlie Puth
  5. “Buy Me a Boat” by Chris Janson

My terrible singing doesn’t matter.  My arhythmic, too slow rapping does not matter either.

Even if I’m mumbling and two lines behind Flo Rida, belting out the “Bieb’s” version of a power ballad or turning up the fake country-boy swag, my kids fighting seems to be muted by my singing silliness.

My car sanity and their smiles are restored.

The only issue left for me to solve after the sing-a-longs fade is how to adequately explain to my 3 year-old that I cannot simply play “that boat song” again.

When I’m told that “I’ll miss this stage of parenting someday” I usually snicker at the thought of leaving behind this chaotic point in time.

In these silly situations of self-induced embarrassment I do appreciate the comment.

Horrendous singing to these popular songs may not turn my kids’ fighting switch to “OFF”.  It might, however, serve as a temporary dimmer.

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