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Every parent knows that long car journeys and endless traffic jams equals boredom and bickering followed by full-blown tantrums and fighting from kids on the back seat! But now, academics at Nottingham Trent University have devised a formula to predict a tantrum from children during car journeys:
T = 70 + 0.5E + 15F – 10S.

Dr James Hind, a senior lecturer at the university, said the time (T) it took a child to become angry on a long journey was usually 70 minutes, and parents could delay the back seat breakdown by introducing entertainment (E) and food (F). For instance, food allowed parents to delay a tantrum by 15 minutes.! But having siblings in the back seat was found to increase the chances of backseat unrest by 10 minutes.

The research, developed alongside LV Britannia Rescue, found that average child will ask ‘Are we nearly there?’ 32 minutes into a car journey and four times during the ride

Dr Hind commented: ‘If you have only one child and you can keep them entertained and occasionally bribe them with food, you could manage two hours of tantrum-free driving. Unfortunately, two children with no entertainment and no snacks can brew up a tantrum in just 40 minutes.

‘Snacks are important but there’s a limit to how much they can help, so keep them to two an hour max. Entertainment is key, but even that fails with very long journey times. Taking breaks is important in preventing tantrums, as well as making sure you are not tired while driving.’

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