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Car Rides : Our Opportunity to Build that Communication Habit with the Kids

16 September 2014 – 6:58 pm |

 
Here in Jakarta, I find myself ‘stuck’ in car rides (and traffic) with the kids a LOT. Everyday.
And this, naturally, can be draining. For the mom. Who is also the driver.
Like when the older ones …

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Home » Daily

Tips: Surviving Traffic Jams in Jakarta and Beyond – With Kids in Tow

6 June 20124 Comments

One reality that we must face when living in Jakarta is the fact that we’ll most likely be stuck in traffic jams.

We’ll face heavy traffics within Jakarta, when we’re going out of Jakarta and back into Jakarta.

Unfortunately, since complaining about it doesn’t change the reality (ie. It does worsen everyone’s mood), I feel it’s better to get ourselves ‘better prepared’ for such times.

(Especially necessary when we have little kids in tow!)

So when it comes to surviving traffic jams here in Indonesia, here are some tips that I’d like to share:

1. Keep sufficient snacks and drinks in the car

It’s a must to have some food and drinks around, I think, because kids (and us!) do get hungry and thirsty, and a scheduled 12pm lunch may unexpectedly be pushed to 1.30pm.


[This bite-sized Mini Oreo is perfect for little hands and mouths. One whole Oreo goes straight into the mouth, leaving not as much crumbs around. The 'Oreo cup' can be placed in our car's cup holder too] 

Note: 

- Avoid drinking too much water. You definitely want to minimise the need to find toilets while stuck in traffic.
- Avoid bringing chocolate bars. Melted chocolate and small kids in a car don’t quite go very well.

 

2. Wet wipes and tissues

When you have little ones in the car eating snacks and drinking something, having some wet wipes and tissues readily available in the car is really a must!


[Okay, keep at least 1-2 packets in stock, no need to stock up so many in one time like me lah, haha]

 

3. CDs

Listening to music really helps to set the mood. Kids can listen to children songs and sing along too.

 

4. Books and Toys

I’d usually let Anya and Vai pack their own little bags to bring along. They can fill it with books, toy cars, anything. And since the car hardly moves much during traffic jams, we feel (for their eyes) it’s fine if the kids occasionally read some books too.

Note:
When the traffic jams get ridiculously bad, they do get to play games on our ipad or iphone (we reserve this option as our very last though as we’d like to encourage the kids to interact with each other instead of fixing their eyes on gadgets)


5. Toilet emergencies

Now this is the question I sometimes get : WHAT IF the kids really, REALLY, need to pee?

Well, … keep a plastic bag /  bottle and diapers ready in the car, I’d usually say.

In emergency situations when the kids can ‘no longer’ wait and it’s simply impossible to find somewhere for them to relieve themselves, then we have no choice but to resort to a plastic bottle (for the boy) and (diapers) for the girl.

(And, in cases when they have diarrhea? Errr, diapers will help a lot too)

I’m sure there are lots of other useful tips out there for families who are stuck in traffic jams here in Jakarta!

I’d like to learn from you too.

Please share YOUR tips?

 

4 Comments »

  • flora says:

    i forget to mention singing together as a family…

  • flora says:

    we like to play and learn at the same time le.
    last time when keiko learnt word spelling in the school-we also play word spelling on the way.
    another time, keiko learnt addition in her school-so we do that also in the car.
    there was another time, we make continuous story-each one of us got our turn to continue the story.
    i like to share my morning activities to her and in return keiko will share hers during her school activities..
    or, we just play hide fingers-how many fingers do i hide..and others have to guess.
    in conclusion, whatever keiko learns in the school i can follow it up on the way and we interact with each other as well

  • Jestina says:

    I just returned from a trip to Jakarta and the traffic congestion was really terrible! It took us 2 hours to reach from airport to our hotel (which was supposed to be 45 minutes!)

    • Leonny says:

      Ah, I can totally understand the frustration with the traffic! It’s something that we face here, everyday, including how ‘mad’ most of the drivers are when it comes to driving and riding their motorbikes.

      It does make us who drive a car here become more alert drivers though. And at least that’s a good thing? =D

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