Inspired by the current Public Address topic on sharing handy hints, I thought that I might share with you one of the most effective child management techniques I know. I have already given this tip an outing, about 18 months ago, as a comment on Public Address, but that was before I had a blog of my own.
This technique is for use on long car trips, when you just know that sooner or later, the children will start squabbling and fighting (or as we say in our household, fobbling and squighting) in the back seat, driving the adult occupant(s) of the car crazy.
You can, if you apply this technique, stop the fobbling and squighting in an instant.
Before you start the car trip, buy a packet of chocolate frogs.
As you all get into the car, children in the back seat, adults in the front, the adult(s) should open the packet of chocolate frogs. The packet of chocolate frogs should be left in full view of the children.
Then, start driving.
Sooner or later, the bickering, the shoving, the kerfuffle, the noise, the complaints from the back seat will get to be too much for the grown-ups to bear.
At that stage, the adult(s) should reach for a chocolate frog. They should wind the window down, and throw the frog out.
At the end of the journey, the children may eat any frogs that are left.
This is a remarkably effective technique. Generally it results in an appalled silence from the back seat, and peace and quiet for at least 10 minutes.
There is a variant technique. Instead of throwing the frog out, you can eat it yourself. However, this variation may well end in tears.
And in reality, we have only tried this once. Alas, we couldn’t keep our faces straight, so the impact on the back seat behaviour was minimal. But the thought was fun….