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Teach Your Kids to Respect Your Family Car

When I was growing up, my father instilled a deep desire to respect property in me and my sister. As a result, I take excellent care of my belongings, which can be seen throughout my home and beyond. I can only imagine that my dad picked up this longing to keep his property in tip-top shape from his own parents. When my grandmother bought a brand new car in the late 1980s, I can still remember her driving me and my sister around town, having a very serious talk with us about how we could and should treat her new car, out of respect. Now that I am a mom, and have not one, but two newer vehicles in my driveway, all of those memories have come flooding back, and have encouraged me to have similar talks with my kids about respecting our family property.

If you've ever stepped out of your car, frustrated over the amount of 'stuff' that winds up being left in it, or astounded by garbage on the floors, you're not alone. I've been there, but I'm here to tell you that if you respect your car and treat it well, your kids will, too.

I learned how to treat a vehicle through the examples my parents and grandparents set. They always kept their cars clean- free of clutter and trash. To help keep your own car clean and organized, it's a great idea to make a simple investment in organizers that can be kept between and behind seats in the car. I have two organizers- one on the back of each front seat. This way, each of my kids has their own car organizer, where they can keep a couple of books, a snack bar, a toy or two, etc. I also love the organizers that hold tablets and headphones, so the kids can watch what they like when on longer trips in the car.

A small trash bin in the car is an absolute must! I keep one in the front, and one in the back. My kids are notorious for dropping used tissues to the floor and then stepping on them, mindlessly. That results in shredded tissues- everywhere! To put an end to that, they simply get tossed into the waste bin, along with any other trash that winds up in the car. We empty these bins weekly, and never leave food trash or beverage cups sitting in the car. Just think about the potential leaks and stains that could be a result of leaving those in the car for more than a day or two.

We wash our cars once every couple of weeks. We rotate between washing them at home and washing them at the car wash. A $5.00 express car wash can do a lot of good for your car, even once a month.

Keeping your car vacuumed out can also keep it looking stellar. Investing in a small shop vac to keep at home can save you a lot of time and money when it comes time to vacuum out your car. You can do it on your time, at the convenience of your driveway or garage. Keeping the car clear of debris will also keep it out of your house!

You'll be so much happier driving and riding around in a clean car. Your kids will also be more likely to keep it clean if you give them spaces to keep their items organized. Set rules and boundaries, and don't be afraid to keep your kids on track when it comes to respecting the family vehicle. Set the example by respecting the vehicle as the adult, and the kiddos will be quick to follow.

Brought to you by San Marcos Chrysler Dodge.

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