You just bought a new car. Your kids are not feeling it. So what do you do when your kids hate your new car?
If your kids are anything like mine, they would rather be carted around town in a Tesla than a minivan. Practicality isn’t exactly their strong suit, and they get excited about flashy new technology and cool options, not fuel economy and safety ratings.
For most parents, car shopping becomes much more about features like sliding doors that make life easier than purchasing the next best thing in high-tech motoring. This can lead to plenty of strife when your kids declare that they hate your brand new car! Thankfully, no matter how much your kids vow they hate your new car, it’s not impossible to bring them around. Follow these five tips for helping your kids learn to love your new car as much as you do.
Bring them car shopping
Car shopping with kids sounds about as appealing as a root canal. But if you want your kids to enjoy your new car instead of complain about the “lamemobile” for the next five years, it’s worth bringing them along. Car shopping can provide a great introduction to practical skills like calculating monthly car payments while also making them feel included in the purchasing process. Kids who feel included in the process rarely complain as much as kids who are presented with a done deal.
Let them have a say in the purchase
Although you’re not going to swap your practical SUV for a brand new sports car just because your child has their heart set on a sweet new ride that doesn’t mean you can’t let them be involved in choosing your next car. Even young kids can help choose the color of your new car, and you can even let them choose between two kid-friendly options, such as an upgraded sound system or an in-car DVD player. Having a say in the process helps kids get excited about the choices they made instead of bemoaning the cool cars you didn’t buy.
Point out why your new car works for your family
What if you purchased a new car and your child still hates it? In that case, explaining to your child why it makes sense for your family can go a long way toward helping them accept the purchase. Your new sedan may not seem exciting, but it has plenty of trunk space for their soccer gear, and gas mileage that helps you afford all of those pizza Fridays. Plus, the lower monthly payment is financing your family vacation to Disneyland! Kids aren’t completely unreasonable, and helping them understand where the car fits into your family’s overall budget can make a lot of sense.
Jazz up your new car in kid-friendly ways
Sometimes all it takes to get kids excited about a new car is finding a way to make it more fun for them. Minivans might get a bad rap, but they often have entertainment systems that can easily accommodate the addition of a video game system. Your kid who hates your new car will likely sing a different tune when they are playing Minecraft from the back seat! If your car doesn’t already have an entertainment system, installing an aftermarket DVD player can also be a great way to help kids love your new car (and save your sanity on long car trips!). If those options are out of your budget, enlist your child in picking out a fun new decal for the back window.
Encourage them to buy the car of their dreams themselves
Sometimes, kids just can’t be swayed from their love affair with a completely different car than you just bought. My teenage son, for instance, is convinced that his first major purchase as an adult will be a Tesla that’s equipped with every imaginable option. While that’s probably unlikely, there’s no harm in encouraging your child to start planning for their future now. Saving for a fancy car can be a great motivator on days when your child has no interest in doing their homework. After all, it takes a great career to buy those dream cars and learning how to budget and save young will help them make their dreams a reality.