Not even the gadgets can keep pampered lot happy

GUIDELINES Professor Tanya Byron has advice for journeys
GUIDELINES Professor Tanya Byron has advice for journeys
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As the youngest child of three, it was my misfortune to sit in the middle during all car journeys.

For some reason, my brothers assumed the window seats would be theirs due to an imaginary pecking order I still believe to be deeply unjust.

But I would frequently get my own back. As a rather car-sick child, I’d often hurl myself at one of their windows when the nausea levels peaked, causing them to question whether they really did have the best end of the deal.

This was in the days before seatbelts were worn in the back, so we’d bump around as my dad found himself driving down yet another lane with grass growing down the centre. Never a good sign that.

Holidays were always spent in this country at non-exotic sounding seaside locations such as Mablethorpe, Skegness and Cleethorpes.

We didn’t have those fancy TVs built into the headrests. Hand-held computers hadn’t been invented yet and iPods didn’t exist either. I know, I sound old, but it’s true.

Car journeys really were boring – although my need to vomit often caused some merriment along the way. Well, for me anyway.

But these days, the average child gets bored within just 31 minutes of their journey. And one of those daft surveys has discovered that 62 per cent of parents would prefer car trips if their darlings weren’t there.

With the summer holidays almost here, you can expect to see more families hitting the road and psychologist, Professor Tanya Byron, has devised some handy hints for how you can survive.

But forget producing guidelines to help parents cope with the whining. There’s no need to wheel out a child specialist to give earth-shattering advice along the lines of ‘take things to keep them occupied’.

The current generation are a pampered little lot – and the sooner they appreciate that, the better.

Perhaps it just needs someone to say ‘Look, kiddo, you’ve got it easy, so let’s get on with things shall we?’

Premature ‘are we there yet?’ appeals won’t wash with someone who spent half her summer holidays getting from one side of Yorkshire to the other in a sick-stained T-shirt.