Last-minute trips to the bathroom, endless pleading to get them to put on their shoes and coats, deciding which toy they want to take to school every day... Getting out of the house is just one part of the challenge that families with children face every day. And then it becomes even more difficult: convincing them to get into the car, fastening them in their car seats and loading everything they need into the boot. This ordeal requires parents to dedicate a total of 96 hours a year, exactly four full days, according to a study carried out by SEAT in Spain, Germany and the UK.
The survey concludes that parents tend to lengthen their routines by an average of 20 minutes to compensate delays caused by putting their children in the car. This is common in all three survey countries, although 10% of Spaniards and 6% of Germans say they must add at least 40 minutes to their routines in case it takes longer.
The terrible twos:
There’s a reason it’s called that at this age. And the moment of leaving home and getting into the car is no less terrible. 41% of the parents surveyed say that this routine is more difficult with toddlers between the ages of two and three.
The bad part.
British, German and Spanish parents agree that the most time consuming thing is getting their children to put on their shoes and coats to go out. In addition, the time it takes to put them in child restraint systems and fasten seat belts or the last minute trips to the bathroom are parents’ other major concerns in terms of tardiness.
Late once a week.
The time wasted on this daily routine sometimes makes parents late for work. In Spain, this is where it happens the most, with more than half of parents (55%) late to work at least once a week. Of these, 45% of the time they are late more than once a week and 21% admit to being late every day. Of the total, only 19% of those surveyed are never late. Furthermore, one third of British people admit to being late to work at least once a week. This contrasts with the figures for Germany, where 41% of parents say they are never late and only 23% admit to being late for work at least once a week.
That dreaded moment.
Interestingly, the study shows that more than 70% of Spanish parents dread the routine of bundling their kids in the car, 15% of them to a large extent, while in Germany the anxiety drops to 58% and only 4% express intense fear. Faced with these stressful situations, in Spain more than half of parents admit that they sometimes curse out loud or under their breath in the midst of the chore, and 15% often do so. On the other hand, only 42% of Germans curse from time to time when they put their children in the car.
To make the process of getting in the car as fast and smooth as possible, many parents play the age-old rewards game. Listening to their favorite music, promising something when they arrive at their destination, letting them use the tablet to watch their favorite shows, or offering them sweets and treats are among the most popular techniques. Spain is the country where rewards are most widespread, with almost three quarters of parents using them. In Germany, on the other hand, 60% admit to resorting to these tactics, whereas only a little more than 25% do so in the United Kingdom.
The good part.
Despite the inconvenience this daily routine can cause for parents, when it comes down to it, 96% admit that they enjoy travelling with their children by car. Many point out that what they like most about family trips is being able to chat with them, sing songs out loud together and listen to their innocent and peculiar observations about the world. In short, the hassle, the rushing and the cursing are worth it in the end when you hear their laughter.
SEAT Tarraco, comfort for the whole family.
It’s difficult enough to get the kids out of the house, so SEAT’s largest SUV features family-friendly elements to make this routine more comfortable and family travel even more enjoyable:
- Automatic tailgate and Virtual Pedal, so that loading bags, backpacks, lunches and toys is not a problem
- Ample space suitable for child restraint systems
- Second row of sliding seats with a 60:40 split with up to 7 easily foldable seats. Full Link system to link your phone to Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Mirror Link to make it easier to keep your kids entertained
- Available with four different trim levels
- Three ISOFIX anchor points with non-rotating Top Tether hook