ontheroadI remember way too many driving family vacations when my dad and mom would get fed up with my brother and me fighting in the car and threaten to “stop this car right now” or “turn around right now and go home” if we didn’t stop fighting. They never did and we knew it.

So we spent many a long family vacation arguing over who had crept over the imaginary line dividing the back seat.

But I heard a great story of one savvy traveling mom several years ago. She was about to take the kids on a driving vacation, sans hubby. Just her and three squabbling kids. She knew she wouldn’t be able to take it. So she sat the kids down before the trip and told them that the minute they started to fight, she was going to “turn the car around and go home.” It didn’t matter if they were one block away from home or one block away from their destination.

Departure day arrived and she packed the car, loaded the kids and pulled out of the driveway. She was only a block away when the first squabble started. She hit the brakes, turned around and headed home. To her kids’ horror, she pulled back in the driveway and began unloading the suitcases.


What the kids didn’t know is that the vacation wasn’t scheduled for another week. She spent that week hearing the kids apologize and promise they would be better if she would just reconsider and take them on vacation. She finally “relented” and they left again the following week–the day they were supposed to go on vacation. It was peaceful drive the entire way.

The only downside was she had to pack twice. It was a small sacrifice for a week of peace in the car.