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Let The Kids Negotiate Who Sat in Front Seat Last

By Jodie Lynn


My children drive me nuts with arguments over who sat in the front seat last. This may seem trivial to many but it's a big deal in my family. Any suggestions?


Have the children choose individual days of the week as the "front seat" day. Write this down on a daily roster and keep it in plain view on the fridge. Let the day of the week determine who rides in front for all trips taken on that day. Once the month is over, the day can be rotated to a different child. This stops arguments before they ever get started because the parents are not involved at all as it is the calendar that becomes the boss. It works great! - Ellen Bisson in Indianapolis, IN

We have five kids so we have to have a schedule. Each child gets a week at a time. We write it on the family calendar in our kitchen from Monday to Monday. There's no arguing because it doesn't matter where we go, it's their turn for the whole week. - Jules Morrison, in St. Paul. MN


Believe me, this is not a trivial challenge. You are correct in saying that it can drive any parent, grandparent or whoever is doing the driving crazy with arguments between the kids. Depending on the ages of your kids, they may or may not have a cell phone. If they do, assign a day, week or even a whole month, if they agree, to one child. They can reference the phone schedule or you could post it in clear view on the door going out to the car. Be sure it is not written on a board with erasable marker... someone may decide to change it and say the other one agreed but for whatever reason, just can't seem to remember doing so. However, days can be rotated if they come to you and tell you about the change a week in advance or whatever you feel is an adequate time frame to make updates on your copy of the schedule. These options will hopefully eliminate many arguments. The best way to handle one, if it should occur, is to let them work out their own negotiations, especially if they have changed the original order and schedule. Be sure this is done before anyone gets into the car. Of course, if it looks like a fight might ensue and someone may end up getting hurt, go ahead and become involved and just make everyone sit in the back until it can be discussed at a later time.

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I don't understand why it is that every time I get on the phone, my kids become noisy, argue or do something that they are not supposed to do. I've explained that when I take a call that they are supposed to be quiet... it does not work! What else can I do?

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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