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Old 23rd August 2022, 16:31   #1
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How do BHPians convince their kids to stay buckled up?

Many of us might have already gone through this : It's never easy to convince kids to stay buckled up! especially when they reach an age when they are hyper-active ( never willing to stay on seat for longer time ). There are many threads in public domain, but all focused on Western geographies and the tips they talk never work in India.

Taking my own personal case, when my kids were < 3 years old, I was successful in buckling them up on child seats. But the moment they grew beyond that age, I have exhausted my wits to even convince them to sit on seats when travelling. I bought booster seats, but in vain - they better stand than sitting on that.

I am only successful in convincing them to sit in rear till they are big enough.

Can you please share your experiences around these and tips that worked in your favour?

Last edited by enj0y_ride : 23rd August 2022 at 16:36.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 16:46   #2
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re: How do BHPians convince their kids to stay buckled up?

Right from the time when my kid was couple of months old, she has always been in a suitable car seat. Since she was always in the car seat, as she grew older, it was naturally ingrained into her that 'If I am sitting in the car' it will be in the car seat. There was absolutely no compromise to that and it became a natural habit. Moved to a booster seat at around 8 years and recently removed that also as the regular seat belt became usable.

Again, all this, until now-Only in the back seat. Front seat was never even an option(apart from some rare unavoidable situations).

Not sure what are the ages of your kids now, there is some natural resistance that comes when they are 3-4 years old. Needs to be quickly and firmly handled (keeping aside the parental love and immediate gratification for that and thinking of the greater good-Definitely not easy). Once they get used to being unbelted and have got away with it, difficult to bring back the habit.

So my advice is, if you want your kids belted, do not compromise on it at all. Apart from resisting pressure from the kids, you also will have to resist pressure from your spouse(sometimes, in my case I had the full support) and more often from extended family-especially grandparents and uncles and aunts.

Only a teeny tiny percent regularly buckle up their kids. I have been ridiculed by a lot of people including friends and family, but I am glad I stuck to my position and that safety mentality is now ingrained into my kid and she naturally buckles up in any car she gets into.

So it is a tough one, but definitely worth the effort

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 23rd August 2022 at 16:59.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 16:59   #3
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re: How do BHPians convince their kids to stay buckled up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Since she was always in the car seat, as she grew older, it was naturally ingrained into her that 'If I am sitting in the car' it will be in the car seat. There was absolutely no compromise to that and it became a natural habit.
Thanks. I guess that's a great way to do it. In my case, kids are now 6 years old ( twins ). They travel in school buses too ( when they are free to move in seats ), so car seat belts became unnatural. Also during many occasions, in-order to convince them to go places, I did compromise on it ( which back-fired eventually ). To add to that, in my case since both of them always travel together and playing inside car became a part of the travel, so they dislike wearing seat belts.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 17:02   #4
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re: How do BHPians convince their kids to stay buckled up?

Both my kids have no problem in buckling up (well, the younger one has to be in a child seat).

Succumbing to the child's unwillingness - this has to be avoided at all costs. Children are not the bosses of the house, but we parents are

If my kids aren't ready to buckle up or be in the child seat, they are not going anywhere in my car as simple as that.

Last day I saw one Maruti Dzire guy doing crazy zig-zag driving to dodge traffic on NH-66 at Cherthala - the shocking part was that he had a kid seated on his lap, with the kid's face centimeters away from the steering.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 17:06   #5
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re: How do BHPians convince their kids to stay buckled up?

There was a lovely approach shared by a TBHP-ian in another thread, the gist of which I remember as:

He got the child seat and left it in the living room. His kid began to sit in it, and began to like it. After sometime, he moved it to the car. The kid took to the seat in the car too, without any fuss. I dont think it can get smoother than this.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 17:17   #6
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re: How do BHPians convince their kids to stay buckled up?

Sometimes when my 6 year old daughter throws tantrum in buckling up, which is rare, I just tell her that police will catch you and take you away
This does the trick. However, 99.9% of the time she gets in to the car, she buckles up without me telling her to do so.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 17:18   #7
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re: How do BHPians convince their kids to stay buckled up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by enj0y_ride View Post
Can you please share your experiences around these and tips that worked in your favour?
I can help by chiming in with how my parents convinced me to wear it 100% of the time. At the beginning, I was always strapped into the booster seat, so I never questioned the seat belt. Then, when I was "big enough" for the regular seat, I was already accustomed to wearing a seat belt, so the regular seat belt was merely an upgrade of sorts, just like the seat itself.

An incredibly important part of this was the fact that my parents used to wear a seat belt 100% of the time too; while driving as well as a passenger. It set a good example. When I did ask about what a seat belt was for, the consequences of not wearing one were told to me without hesitation, so I fully appreciate the unassuming but potentially lifesaving belt of nylon.

Last edited by GForceEnjoyer : 23rd August 2022 at 17:23.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 17:25   #8
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re: How do BHPians convince their kids to stay buckled up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by enj0y_ride View Post
Can you please share your experiences around these and tips that worked in your favour?
Just be strict about it. Tell them, the car won't move until they're buckled up / in the car seat. They'll throw a tantrum once, be angry twice, the third time, they'll listen. Our job is to parent them and wearing seat-belts is non-negotiable so let's parent them right.

Additionally, have your kids' teachers tell them that they should wear seat-belts at all times - that does the trick a lot of times. If you can an episode on Peppa Pig where Daddy Pig says so - even better. It is ridiculous how effective that can be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
There was a lovely approach shared by a TBHP-ian in another thread
Haha, that be me. It has worked out exceedingly well. The kid doesn't want the car to move until the carseat's belts are fastened.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 23rd August 2022 at 17:26.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 17:31   #9
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re: How do BHPians convince their kids to stay buckled up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
I just tell her that police will catch you and take you away
This does the trick.
I did this for sometime. Now she is smart enough to fall for such things. However, she does follow the rules.

On the contrary for super elders, if they are unwilling, I tell (and show) that my car will not start unless seatbelts are worn (try starting by not depressing the clutch/brake and demonstrate live that it would not start). And they reluctantly wear it (cursing the newer tech/automakers/govt/ et all under there breath - sometimes it is a 'everything wrong with this generation or how good our times were' conversation starter too)
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Old 23rd August 2022, 17:32   #10
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re: How do BHPians convince their kids to stay buckled up?

This, is the most challenging part of car ownership

In my case, my daughter was okay with the car seat until she was around two and a half years. Even during those times, she would get restless after an hour, which was fine and we could work around it by taking breaks. It has been a big tussle for me over the past year or so. Some of the things we try -

1. Refusing to start until she buckles up. Kids understand the consequences better than we think - this usually works for me. Once while going to the mall to play in the kid's area, she refused to buckle up and I took a U-turn and came back home. Ever since she understands that we mean business. (Do this trick only while going for ice cream or mall; if you do that while going to school, this may backfire )

2. Over a longer distance, kids naturally get cranky and start their tantrums. Having a small break and letting them run around will generally buy me an extra hour of buckling up.

3. Bribes - We once gave a lollipop to calm her over a long journey. It did work for a while. I do not suggest this as they expect a candy every time, but can be used in emergencies.

4. Mobile phones - We never tried this as it can become a habit. But I know some parents who did this with great success.

All said, the maximum time I can keep my daughter engaged in a car is around one hour. Probably, as they grow older, their patience level may increase, hopefully.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 18:28   #11
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re: How do BHPians convince their kids to stay buckled up?

While I don’t have kids, I have driven many younger cousins and in most cases I get more opposition from the adults seated at the rear about not wanting to buckle up than the kids. My parents always used a child seat when I was little, I never had any issues, I liked it in fact and felt special like a boss.

Simply refuse to drive if any passengers don’t buckle up, child or adult. You are the captain of the ship and by extension, responsible for all aboard.

Last edited by AJ56 : 23rd August 2022 at 18:29.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 18:37   #12
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re: How do BHPians convince their kids to stay buckled up?

Buy seat belt pillows from amazon.in
https://www.amazon.in/HOME-CUBE-Shou...dp/B07TJZMPRC/

Name:  Screenshot_2.jpg
Views: 286
Size:  74.8 KB

It is very comfortable for kids. Make sure you buy 2 pillows and fix both on the seatbelt. This way, the pillows cover the whole point of contact between seatbelt and child's body. My car:

How do BHPians convince their kids to stay buckled up?-img_20210228_161432.jpg

Last edited by SmartCat : 23rd August 2022 at 20:21.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 20:26   #13
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re: How do BHPians convince their kids to stay buckled up?

Its non - negotiable: period!
Initially I was strict about it but now its habit for him. I simply remind him now if he doesn’t put it on immediately and he’ll promptly buckle up when told once (he’s 10 years old now).

It also helps if you lead by example of course. For instance, whether I’m in the front or the back, I’m always buckled in, even for short drives within the city like my home to office commute which is often in heavy traffic. Kids do observe and I feel its easier to tell them to do something when you yourself have made it a habit for yourself.

When he was small (of car seat age) he would almost always be in a car seat. On rare occasions when he had to be in a lap when he was really small, my wife would ALWAYS be in the back seat with him, never in the front, even if it meant I had to drive with an empty seat beside me. It really infuriates me when I see little kids being kept in a lap on the front seat, close to the dashboard.

I think if you’re simply firm about it from an early age, its the default setting for them and much less a battle. I frankly find it much harder to tell my wife to buckle up when she’s at the back than I do my son. In the city, I let it go for the adults. On highways, its non negotiable - whether its my wife, mum or son. In the early days when it needed convincing, I simply wouldn’t drive until they were buckled in.

Same goes for a helmet. However short the distance, he is not allowed to be astride a two wheeler without one - whether its a scooter or a superbike.

Last edited by Axe77 : 24th August 2022 at 06:13.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 20:43   #14
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re: How do BHPians convince their kids to stay buckled up?

I don't convince them, I just tell them. My job is to keep them safe and comfortable, which is done with seats, breaks and pillows. Their job is to follow instructions around things which are non-negotiable as per me. When adults have issues on being presented with multiple choices, I don't see any reason why unnecessary choices or escape routes need to be provided to still developing minds.

Over time, based on their comprehension level, I give them reasons on why I am expecting certain things but there is no wiggle room in these areas. Other areas, am pretty lax, my kids don't consider me strict but they don't throw any tantrums as well after realising it hasn't worked ever.

On a related note, my friends keep complaining their kids don't listen. I don't think it's an issue with kids, it's more to do with my friends who act like friends of their toddlers instead of acting like the parents that they are.

(Teenagers am sure will be a different story, I pretty much remember what we were upto and it is scary to imagine all that now!)

Last edited by One : 23rd August 2022 at 20:47.
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Old 23rd August 2022, 20:43   #15
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re: How do BHPians convince their kids to stay buckled up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by enj0y_ride View Post
Can you please share your experiences around these and tips that worked in your favour?
In my case it was easy as I had started to use from 7 months onwards, so it became a habit and even refuses to sit anywhere else. After the age of 12, now sits on normal seat with belts. Only issue is that when the kid doses off to right side then the belt goes in an awkward position.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
Buy seat belt pillows from amazon.in
Thanks for the suggestion. I've been using normal pillows on both sides of the kid.
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