No Screens in the Car

John and I are mean spirited and old fashioned in our parenting and we are at our nastiest in the car where we won’t let the kids play on screens while we drive.

Clearly we are monsters.

We enforce this rule because we want the girls to grow up with the skill of being able to occupy themselves without a screen for more than five minutes without succumbing to a case of “I’m bored’s”. I do realize that this is probably a skill they will never need to use once they leave my house. That’s fine. My dad made me learn DOS, I’m just passing it on to the next generation as well as I can.

The other reason we are sticklers about this particular rule is that we are not shelling out the money to get them each some sort of handheld screened device and you know what would happen if there was only one to share…

Fighting. One screen does not divide among three girls. We know this. Oh do we know this.

Instead my poor, deprived, screen-less girls current favorite thing to do in the car is to “collect” all the edibles we drive by.

“I get this side!”

“I get this side”


“I get the corn!”

“I get soybeans!”

“I get that wheat!”

“Yeah, well I get ALL the corn!”

“You can’t have ALL the corn!”

“I got those strawberry patches!”


“I got this corn too!”


Yes, that’s right. Currently my girls’Β favorite thing to do in the car is to fight over the cornfields we drive by.

Proof that it doesn’t really matter what you do as a parent, when in the mood kids always know exactly how to push each others’ buttons.

On the bright side, it’s working – they aren’t bored.


11 comments on “No Screens in the Car

  1. Jesska says:

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    We used to count the strings of Christmas lights when we drove in the dark.. and collect pub names in towns (I get all the pubs with body parts, you can have the pubs with colours, and she can have the pubs with animals).. I don’t remember counting fields, probably because we had enough fields at home… Having said that, we probably had enough other things to fight over πŸ™‚

  2. jenanita01 says:

    Risking looking stupid, I have to ask, what is DOS?

  3. Your posts always make me smile! We used to identify the registration towns of the cars since all the towns in South Africa had a code that was on the registration plate. Sadly, that’s no longer true. Im sure we learnt a bit of the geography of our country by doing that. I also need to know what DOS is.

  4. barbtaub says:

    Nice try.

    Sadly, this kind of thing just does not work. We didn’t have a television when our kids were small. As a consequence, they grew up completely unable to walk past a catfood commercial. One now writes fulltime for a TV show. And every year when they come for the holidays, the bitching starts in Octoberβ€” “Have our parents climbed down off their dinosaurs and entered even the 20th century yet? We’re not going to have to watch the Dr. Who Christmas Special projected on the wall again, are we? Who does that?”

  5. thinkbigmuch says:

    That’s hilarious.
    Except, not.

  6. curryNcode says:

    been there.. done that…my kids fight for everything. We raise chickens and I was surprised to notice that they do the same. Even when there is a ton of grain on one side… they are all fighting to finish the tiny bit that is left over on the other side.. hilarious

  7. Sharon Jacobson says:

    Have you tried playing 20 questions?

  8. Elisabeth says:

    Amazing how times have changed. Although I know my husbands Aunts knit in the car while their husbands drive, while on long road trips… so is knitting the old school screen??

    • Jessie says:

      Ha! It might be! I used to knit in the car… and then I had kids and I needed both hands to pass and receive a ridiculous amount of stuff to and from the backseat. Now I’m not sure I even remember how…

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