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DC arguing in the back of the car

41 replies

Yesanothernamechange · 17/11/2019 20:24

For background, I've always found it really hard to process more than one person talking to me at once - I find it really, really stressful, sometimes to the point of tears. I have no idea why this is, and other people, such as DH, look at me as though I'm crazy when I say this.

I have two DC - 6 and 2. The arguing and screaming in the back of the car has reached fever pitch. We live in the middle of nowhere so it's a 30 minute journey to school, and the same to swimming lessons and many birthday parties, etc. I know they're just being normal kids, but I'm finding it so stressful and distracting that I'm worried it's dangerous. The journey home form school, in particular, can leave my blood pressure sky high, as I try to make sure I'm driving safely through the screaming and shouting. Obviously, I've tried asking nicely, multiple times, asking less nicely, and have on occasion ended up shouting back at them, which is hardly a good example to set, but I am feeling desperate and a bit scared. DH seems to think that this stress reaction is a behaviour which I am allowing to happen and that I should be able to "cure" it using CBT or something similar. He is comparing it to a fear of heights. Does anyone have any experience of feeling like this, and is it something that you can change? To me, it just feels like the way that my brain is wired, but I do need to try absolutely anything I can.

OP posts:

CharlotteCollinsneeLucas · 17/11/2019 20:26

Would it help to have one of them sitting up front with you?


Whatdayisit2 · 17/11/2019 20:27

Give them a phone or DVD player we drive everywhere in silence now !


CharlotteCollinsneeLucas · 17/11/2019 20:28

As to the sensitivity to noise/over-stimulation or whatever, I've heard it's a thing. Can't remember what it's called though. Not a lot of help, sorry!


PickwickThePlockingDodo · 17/11/2019 20:30

Can you put on some music? Would them singing along be better than shouting & screaming? Confused


1Morewineplease · 17/11/2019 20:30

Yes to having one sit in the front.
Your reaction does seem a little extreme. Do you think that you might have a hearing problem where you might be struggling to filter their noise, leading it to sound like a cacophony?


Mummyshark2018 · 17/11/2019 20:31

Have you tried audio stories? My dc loved the Julia Donaldson ones.

Otherwise, playing a game, rewarding with stickers for good behaviour?


CharlotteCollinsneeLucas · 17/11/2019 20:33

Ok, remembered. Google highly sensitive person. I heard it mentioned when I was finding out about introverts. Don't know a lot about it.


Grasspigeons · 17/11/2019 20:34

I pull over and wait until they are calm. It is annoying but they get the message and they know i cant drive if its noisy. There are even certain big roundabouts where they say 'shh mum needs silence for this one' it took a while for that though.
I also sit one in the front and one in the back if they are looking lively. I also let them pick a play list or use audio books and they listen to the story for longer trips.


stilltiredinthemorning · 17/11/2019 20:35

I understand EXACTLY what you mean, I have exactly the same problem with competing noise, especially shouting voices. I think I probably have a sensory processing disorder, could that be it for you too?

Would wireless Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones help?? You could put the radio on or some relaxing music to drown them out?

I think this would be safe? As long as they're both strapped in securely and can't reach each other?

Are they arguing about anything specific? Would a story CD or something distract them?

My 2 do this when I'm trying to make dinner and I find it so stressful and distracting I can barely cook a frozen pizza....


Yesanothernamechange · 17/11/2019 20:36

I have recently started trying audio stories, hoping that would help. DD1, who is 6, loves them. DD2, who is 2, shouts all the way through them. DD1 then starts shouting at DD2, because she wants to listen to the story, etc. Argh!

Unfortunately, my attempts to get them to sing along haven't been much more successful - they just talk through it. There must be something I'm missing...

OP posts:

NeedAUsernameGenerator · 17/11/2019 20:36

I am similar, I find noise when I'm driving very stressful. I play audiobooks or music on all journeys longer than 5 or 10 minutes and I also have earplugs in my driver door which i have used a few times. Now my older DD is 10 she sits in the front on local journeys which helps a bit with the arguing in the back.


Excited101 · 17/11/2019 20:37

If it’s got ‘that’ bad then I’d also pull over until it stops, usually the shock of it is enough.


Whyisitsodifficult · 17/11/2019 20:37

Give your daughter headphones so she can’t hear her younger sister!


Grasspigeons · 17/11/2019 20:40

Would the 2 year old 2 year old things on a tablet?


formerbabe · 17/11/2019 20:40

Like a pp said, if it's safe to and the arguing is really bad, then pull over and refuse to continue till it stops. My dc bicker a lot and this does work.


stilltiredinthemorning · 17/11/2019 20:40

Is you 2 year old rear facing? Might help if they're facing different directions and maybe you could have an arrangement where if they're quiet (ish) for the first half of the journey you pull over and give them a reward for the second half? The 6 year old's reward could be an ipod or similar with stories and headphones? Two birds with 1 stone??


Yesanothernamechange · 17/11/2019 20:40

Ah, that's a really interesting idea about the noise cancelling headphones. Sorry to be dim, but is that safe? I've never used them and would feel a bit worried that I might not hear a car horn through them. It might well still be safer than the distraction of the screeching though...

I did wonder about sensory processing disorder. I had a few of the other symptoms but I didn't recognise most of them in myself. I will google highly sensitive people, though - thank you.

OP posts:

areyouafraidofthedark · 17/11/2019 20:42

Put one of the up front with you.


Yesanothernamechange · 17/11/2019 20:42

These are all great ideas - thank you. I also feel much better that it's not just me.

OP posts:

stilltiredinthemorning · 17/11/2019 20:45

Yeah, maybe not noise cancelling ones, your right. But I recently bought some big over-ear type ones that were only about £35 (because I couldn't afford proper noise cancelling ones!) as I sometimes have to work in very busy shared offices and couldn't concentrate at all. They've worked brilliantly for me, which is why I thought of it. I don't think they'd drown out a horn or anything really loud, but they'd definitely take out most of the bickering I think!


itsgettingweird · 17/11/2019 20:49

I'm exactly the same with too many voices.

But I seem ok with loud music Wink


MusicallyChallenged · 17/11/2019 20:51

We take the bus. But the DC still remember the day I made them get off and walk home because they wouldn't stop arguing. Now I just need to ask if we need to get off at the next stop and they stop.

Choose a trip that they want to go on (I.e. not school) that it's not too much hassle to miss or be late e.g. with grandparents or good friend. When they don't stop, turn the car around and go home or park somewhere and make them walk the rest. Tell them it's not safe for you to drive when they're making so much noise.


Muddytoes1 · 17/11/2019 21:07

Aw op that does sound super stressful. Don’t really have any advice but my mum used to complain about this when we were younger and enforced a no talking in the car rule. As in we had to be silent the entire drive! She was very strict though.


Josephinebettany · 17/11/2019 21:23

Get car Dvd players


Slave2love · 18/11/2019 09:51

I could have written this post! I feel exactly the same way and get easily overwhelmed and am extremely sensitive to noise. I myself would declare myself an introvert and need a lot of alone time to recharge and those times in the car with the excessive noise/squabbling tantrums just seem to tip me over the edge and whilst emotionally I can feel myself getting all worked up its almost as if my brain shuts down when there is too much sensory overload. I'm afraid I have no advice on how to help as I have exactly the same issues but I will be following this thread with interest. Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone! X

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