How To Survive A Car Repair Shop When You Have Children In Tow

All the strange noises and funny smells in an automotive shop can be frightening to small children. However, waiting with your small children while your car gets repaired at a place like Jensen Tire & Auto won't be a nightmare if you give expectations, define rules, and are prepared with essentials to make the time go faster. Here's what you need to know. 

Tell Your Children What to Expect 

You give your children expectations of how you want them to behave appropriately all the time. "Don't do that," and "Behave," are just a few examples. But children usually behave better when they are given details of what to expect, especially when they are in strange circumstances. Here are a few things to discuss with your children before you go to the automotive shop for car repairs. 

  • How long it will take. Give them an idea of how much time you will be waiting, but be more specific in giving the time-frame based on how they perceive time. For example, if you expect to be in the waiting area for one hour, tell them that you will be there for the same amount of time it takes to get bathed and ready for bed or for the same amount of time of their favorite movie. 
  • It might be loud. Try to explain the types of sounds that can be heard in a car repair shop, as well as how loud those sounds might be. Try to relate the sounds to something your children may be familiar with. For example, if your children have heard you or your spouse use a power saw, remind them of that sound and tell them that some of the equipment used in car repair shops might sound the same, such as the air compressor. 
  • It might smell funny. Engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and other fluids may smell funny or odd to young children. Explain to your children that these smells are normal in the garage, and that they shouldn't worry about them. 
  • What the waiting area will be like. Ideally, you'll already know what the waiting room will be like so you can explain the set-up to your children. If you don't know, call the repair shop ahead of time, if possible, and ask so you can tell your children what to expect. 

Give Your Children Rules 

Clearly define the rules before you get to the shop. The most important thing to think about when defining specific rules for a car repair shop is your children's safety. Here are a few examples of the types of rules to set. 

  • No running around. 
  • Use quiet, indoor voices.
  • Don't make a mess.
  • Don't wait until the last minute to tell you they need to use the potty. 

Pack a Bag of Essentials 

You'll want to keep your children occupied while waiting. Hopefully, this excursion to the repair shop is a planned one so you can have some time to pack a bag full of these essentials:

  • toys
  • crayons and coloring books 
  • fully-charged electronics 
  • snacks and drinks 
  • diapers/pull-ups and wipes 

However, if you broke down on the road and the trip to the repair shop was unexpected, you may find items in your vehicle that can help entertain your children. Enlist your children's help in scavenging through the car for things that can help keep them occupied, but do so before the vehicle is towed away. Try to think outside of the box when finding things for entertainment.

For example, if you have a few grocery store receipts in your vehicle, gather them up and use them to test their skills on identifying numbers and letters. Another example is to look for spare change so you can use the time to teach your children how to identify coins. 

Hopefully, these recommendations and tips can help you keep you and your children sane while waiting for car repairs.