I’m Sitting Up Front!
February 12th, 2013 posted by Amanda Formaro
It’s a common situation, all over the country. Who gets to sit in the front seat on the way to school? “It’s my turn! He got to yesterday!” whines Jessica. “No way! I’m the oldest, so I get to!” argues Andrew. So what to do? Aside from creating a war amongst the children and yourself, try one of these solutions. Different things work for different people, perhaps one of these is for you. Safety Note: It is recommended that children aged 12 or under sit in the back seat. If your vehicle is equipped with a passenger side Supplemental Restraint System (SRS or airbag), do not allow children under the age of 12 in the front seat, as it can be quite dangerous, or even fatal.
The front seat is off limits to kids. If this is an option for you, assuming you have enough seats in your vehicle to accommodate all the children while leaving the front passenger seat empty, then lay the ground rules now. So as not to appear such an ogre, Mom can allow each child to take turns choosing where they sit in the back. Perhaps the oldest picks each day, or rotate each child. This rule definitely applies if you have a passenger side airbag. Under no circumstances should you allow a child under the age of 12 to ride up front when a supplemental restraint system (SRS or airbag) is present.
Allow the oldest child the privilege of always having the front seat. The oldest child normally carries the most responsibility in the household as far as chores and other duties are concerned. Consider this a privilege that he has earned because of his order in the family.
We all want to instill sharing and turn taking in our children. Get a calendar and post it on the refrigerator, at the front door, or keep it in the glove box. Alternate each child’s name on the calendar, allowing for even rotation of their turn in the front seat. To make things less complicated, you can rotate on a monthly basis instead (i.e., Jenny is March, Tim is April, Alice is may, etc.) For someone with two children, a simple alternative might be to allow one child the front seat on the way to school and the other the front on the way home.
On special occasions, such as birthdays, allow the birthday child to sit up front. Have fun with this! Create your own special days. if Timmy’s birthdays falls on May 19th, then declare the 19th of each month “Timmy Day”.
Some parents may find it easier to simply assign seats within the vehicle. That way, each morning everyone knows where they are expected to sit. No arguments. This may be your choice if you have more than three children as seating becomes limited, especially if you have younger children that require car seats. Implementing one of these systems should help to ease you out the door in the morning without too much hassle. Keeping the peace in the family is good for everyone.