My View: Gearing up for all eventualities on the bank holiday car drive

Looking back on my childhood through rose tinted specs, I remember family car journeys with a certain fondness. My brother and I playing "I Spy" out of the car window and my mum regaling us with tales of the Billy Goats Gruff.

But I am sure that she would not look back on those days with such joy. I know my brother and I squabbled incessantly; both of us suffered from terrible car sickness and she would greet our whines of "Are we there yet?" with "Round the next corner" for what seemed like 100 miles.

Despite this, I was determined that car journeys with my own children would be as joyous as those I had imagined of my own childhood. I would not give in to the electronic devices designed for "lazy" parents. I would sing songs to my children, play games and spend the entire journey in blissful family harmony.

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That utopia was shortlived. One bank holiday, as we set out on a jolly trip to visit friends in London, we had not reached the end of the road when my then four year old beat her forehead and wailed: "I cannot bear it! It is taking forever." With the prospect of a four-hour drive ahead I reached prematurely for the first of many "treats" I had hidden in my bag for such eventualities.

But the relief from her whaling was shortlived as we eventually made it on to the motorway. I could feel my husband's blood pressure rising and knew the lid would blow soon. As we headed down the M1, we suddenly pulled off into an out-of-town shopping outlet and stopped outside a massive electrical store. We exchanged knowing glances and succumbed to buying a portable DVD player. Instantly the moaning and whining stopped, my husband's colour was restored, and peace fell over the car.

It just left me feeling rather disappointed that we could not entertain our children as I imagined my mum had entertained us. But we did arrive all happy and content at our destination, which I am sure would not have happened without the help of the dreaded DVD player.

With a double bank holiday this week, findings from a new survey show that I am not alone. Traditional car games such as "I Spy" have fallen out of fashion and are being replaced by hi-tech alternatives, which are stunting children's social development, say experts

Manchester Metropolitan University psychologist Dr David Holmes says: "Electronic distractions, are not interactive so do not help children with their social development and can actually make them feel car sick."

Well, so can staring out the window counting car number plates, Dr Holmes.

He continues: "Traditional games help children develop their social skills – diplomacy, turn-taking, loss of inhibition, listening, sharing of wit and wisdom and, ultimately, building a family rapport."

I am not sure which world Dr Holmes lives in. My experience is that without part of a long journey being broken up with a film there would have been very little family rapport left by the time we reached our destination.