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  1. #1
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    Default Driving after phobia - little driving experience & dealing with toddler yelling/screa

    As a background - i have anxiety & have done for many years. Back many years ago now when I was first learning to drive i had a few things happen which caused me to develop a phobia of driving.

    Over the last two years I've spent a lot of time, money & effort overcoming this phobia to get back behind the wheel.

    I had many lessons & i have my license & am slowly building up to drive longer & longer distances.

    I still don't have much driving experience experience though, I'm essentially at the level of a red P plater. Therefore I still find driving takes concentration, it's not second nature yet.

    So when my son starts screaming in the car i can't block it out & I'm really struggling to concentrate.

    Today he decided to start singing/yelling (happy) absolutely at the top of his lungs & WOULD NOT stop. I asked him repeatedly, i pulled over & i ended up screaming at him. Nothing worked.

    I was in stop start bumper to bumper peak hour traffic going around a busy roundabout that can't cope with the level of traffic on it (meaning it's crazy & dangerous already) & i made a silly mistake because I was struggling to concentrate because he was yelling so loud that i could hardly hear myself think.

    Heavy traffic is still anxiety provoking for me, although I'm now able to control it & I no longer have a panic attack. But im struggling to control the elevated levels of anxiety caused when in that situation & he's also yelling/screaming.

    How on earth do I make him be quiet if he does that again?

    He's incredibly strong willed & won't listen to anything i say.

    He had toys to play with (he was making them sing & dance which is what caused the problem) & i had music on.

    There is nowhere to attach a tablet that he couldn't kick it (i only have a tiny car).

    Or is there a way i can block out the ear splitting racket?

  2. #2
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    I don't have any recommendations on how to keep him quiet sorry.

    I have major anxiety about driving and still only have a learners licence. We practice places that I know so when I've got kids screaming, that's one less stress. Maybe drive in "safe" areas to build up your resilience?

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    I'm not sure you can make your DS be quiet but what about doing some solo practice while DH looks after DS. I think if you build your confidence with repeated trips you will begin to gain enough confidence that your DS isn't such an issue regardless of noise.

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    I would be trying to work on you being able to block it out. If he was crying I would suggest planning your trips to coincide best with meals/sleep, but if it's more happy noise I don't know whether there's much you can do about it. Can you find music you can both enjoy and you can both sing along to? Popular kid friendly catchy pop songs? Alternatively could he be over stimulated if there's toys and music would he be better with minimal stuff and have it more 'chill out' time. I don't think you'll have much hope in asking him to be quiet, particularly if you're in a high anxiety situation yourself, it will be rubbing off on him.

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    This was the road back to my house - the only road. I drive it regularly in traffic, but now the traffic is getting worse as there is a lot of new housing developments being built & council refuse to upgrade the road so that it can actually cope (trust me, I've asked). So if i want to get my son home from daycare my only other choice is to walk & take our lives into our hands crossing at that roundabout where no-one indicates or is courteous to pedestrians. There is no traffic light crossing anywhere near by.

    So unfortunately I don't really have any option but to drive on that road in traffic.

    I do practice by myself when I can though

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    Have you considered a defensive driving course?
    It may help build your confidence more.

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    I just wanted to say, well done on working through your phobia and getting to the point you're at! That's amazing progress and you should be really proud of yourself.
    Unfortunately I don't think there's a magical way to keep toddlers quiet in the car. Or at least I've never figured it out. Snacks will sometimes lower the decibel level for my dd so that might be worth a try but it is messy. I keep them on the front passenger seat and chuck them backwards as needed.
    I'd recommend focusing on trying to lower your anxiety when he does get loud. Deep breathing, reminding yourself that you know what you're doing, count to 10, and try to block him out completely. Would driving on your own with the radio blaring or some other loud noise be a good way to practice coping with distractions? Maybe even in a carpark to start with?

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    Thanks! What kind of snacks would you recommend? Dinner is relatively soon after we get home so i don't want to fill him up too much. Also it would need to be something i can store at work all day.

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    Default Driving after phobia - little driving experience & dealing with toddler yelli...

    Can you just ignore him, as in, I know you're trying to block it out already, but if you ignored him, would he eventually stop?

    What about getting one of those leapfrog tablets that he can hold and play educational games with?

    We have a Samsung 'mini' sized tablet that we bought when we started to travel interstate a lot, we loaded the 'monkey preschool lunchbox' games that enthralled our boys.

    Ps I'm sorry that you're having such a hard time OP.

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    I get the same way sometimes (I don't do well in the rain.) so sometimes before we leave I give DS my phone (I have episodes of paw patrol, the lion guard etc on it) and he watches that while we drive, sometimes we turn music on and sing along (I play my music.. DS likes to sing along to country music lol, it helps me calm down as well) we also count trucks - that usually consists of DS telling me there's a truck and we move on to the next one lol
    We live rurally though so it can be a good half hour to the shops, we also have a lot of trucks around and I use my phone to get him to stay awake on the way home more often than not lol


 

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