Kids Compare: Mum vs Dad

 

Are you the car VIP? (Very Important Passenger)

When you’re on the road trip with family or friends, there’s a lot more to think about than your destination. Are you entertaining company, an annoyance or a liability?

Find out with our light hearted guide…

8. The lookout

The backseat driver without any of the temper-fraying urgency, the lookout is responsible for being the driver’s second pair of eyes. The lookout must remain aware and alert to surrounding traffic and warn the driver if they notice any danger spots or potential accidents, as well as keeping an eye out for all-important places to stop and get snacks. This is all-important when there are lots of people in the car, when drivers are more likely to be distracted, especially with young drivers.

Worried that the driver might be upset by your input? You needn’t be - a study from Allianz from this year showed that a huge 67% wouldn’t object to being told if their driving was causing anxiety and 94% confirmed they would change their driving behaviour if asked. 

couple in a car

7. The secretary

You know the drill - the secretary’s job is to man all phone communication so the driver is free to concentrate on things like, you know, the road and making sure everyone actually gets to their destination unscathed. This will inevitably involve awkward conversations with the driver’s distant (and totally deaf) aunty Mabel as well as fielding ‘hilarious’ texts from total strangers. It’s a thankless task which involves asking for the driver’s password more times than anyone thought humanly possible, but it’s essential - using your phone whilst driving is still one of the most dangerous things you can do on the road, and not to forget it’s also illegal. 

Girls in a car

6. The gatekeeper

This often overlooked role (which is , typically allocated to mum, in our experience) and becomes even more important when driving in a two door car, as she’ll have to get out and greet any passengers coming in and out of the back of the car in the manner of a restaurant Maitre D’. This role is not limited to a meet and great, however, and whoever adopts this role will also be given the - pretty unglamorous - task of opening any manual gates the driver comes across over the course of the journey. Muddy shoes are an occupational - and slightly inevitable - hazard.

5. The navigator

You might be surprised to see the navigator so low on the list, but since the advent of sat navs they’ve become a little redundant, their job reduced to typing a postcode into a sat nav or smartphone rather than actual map-reading. That doesn’t mean they won’t get involved, however, constantly suggesting short cuts to try and outwit the robots. Sometimes (often), their name is Dad. Even more often, it’s Grandad. Just be warned: disputes over directions are the biggest source of in-car arguments, which can be dangerous, so why not just go along with their suggestions? You love them, after all. 

kids with a map

4. The DJ

Some people take this role very seriously and spend days compiling playlists when a long journey is looming. It’s lovely if they’ve taken the tastes of the whole party into consideration – but if, as if they’re a teenager in an experimental music phase, you end up having to weigh up which is the more painful option: listening to their favourite music or having an argument putting your playlist on. Soon, however, with the invention of 'Individual Sound Zones' this could all be a thing of the past.

 

dancing in a car

3. The feeder

Whether they’ve prepared a lavish in-car feast or they’ve raided the corner shop of its finest nutritionally bereft snacks, the feeder – often Mum and even more often, Granny – is loved by all… well, apart from anyone on a diet or anyone who takes pride in keeping their car pristine. Nothing that a well-time sweet can’t fix, though.  

kids eating

2. The magician

In need of a tissue, a mint or some sunglasses? The magician can seemingly summon up any item you require from nowhere, and you love them for it. That said, they’ve filled the boot with so many bags of random ‘essentials’ that the neighbours think you’re emigrating rather than popping to the shops for the afternoon. New parents are often fine magicians, such is their fear of an imminent baby meltdown or ‘poonami’, but being over-prepared for any eventuality is a habit that’s hard to break.

girl sat in a boot

1. The driver. Obvs

Oh, the power kick that comes from being the one holding the steering wheel. Everyone else might think their roles are important, but you’re the one with the real responsibilities – from scheduling regular stops to, well, keeping everybody alive. It would just be nice if someone thanked you occasionally.

And something everyone will thank you for, in the long run? Getting a great deal on your car insurance.

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