Car failure is stressful at the best of times, but if you have small children in the car with you when you need to call an emergency tow truck, things are only intensified. Read on to find out how to keep your children both safe and entertained while waiting for the towing services to arrive.
Don't let your kids pick up on your stress
The first step is to keep your own emotions in check. Children tend to pick up on their parents' emotions, even if they are not verbally expressed, so assure yourself that even though this is an emergency, help will soon be with you. Focus your attention on your children to keep your mind off your worrying.
Talk to your kids about road safety
Having to wait for a tow truck is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about road safety. No doubt your children will want to run around or stretch their legs outside the vehicle, but, to be safe, it's best that everyone stays inside the vehicle as much as possible, especially when waiting for an emergency tow in a place that could be dangerous or unfamiliar. If you need to exit the vehicle, explain to your children about getting out of the car on the side that is faced away from traffic.
Play games with your kids
Getting your children to sit still while the tow truck is on its way may be a challenge, but a few games should help. I-Spy is always a favourite with little ones, or you could work on the alphabet by getting your kids to find each letter in order on passing vehicle number plates. If it's dark outside, a game of 20 questions should keep everyone occupied.
Get your kids excited about the tow truck!
Explain to your children exactly what has happened and let them know that a nice person with a tow truck is going to come and help. Just knowing what is going on will help your children feel less anxious.
Keep entertainment bags in the back of your car, just in case
It's worth making a few entertainment bags to keep in the back of your vehicle in case you are ever stuck on the side of the road with your children again. As well as a few toys that you children like, include some bottled water, some colouring books and perhaps a few crackers or some cereal.
Also, keep some favourite books that you can read to your children to soothe them if they are feeling anxious.