Family car a travelling confessional
having eye contact with their parents, and one one in five ( 19 per cent) think it’s because their kids can’t immediately be sent to their rooms.
The study also found a third of parents ( 32 per cent) find it easier to talk about more delicate subjects with the kids when on the road.
More than half ( 59 per cent) of parents surveyed instigate awkward topics such as the “birds and the bees” in the car so they don’t have to engage in eyecontact during the conversation.
1 in 10 ( 9 per cent) parents also admitted they’d deliberately embark on a car journey in a desperate bid to get their child to talk more, and 28 per cent said they felt like they’d learned more about their children in the car then they would at home.
Furthermore, 31 per cent felt more clued- up on their kids’ favourite music and TV shows after a journey and 22 per cent say they knew more about their friends. The car has become one of the best places for honest conversation.
A third ( 34 per cent) of parents said they listen more in the car than at home, 49 per cent believe this is due to not having to cook and 44 per cent on not having the pressure to leave the house on time.
But it’s not just the parents who are aware of the benefits of using the car as a place for talking openly. In the car, more than one in five kids ( 22 per cent) admitted to getting into trouble with a teacher or not doing well in a test ( 22 per cent). 14 per cent of kids also admitted to forgetting to do homework and almost one in 10 ( 8 per cent) to getting a detention.
“This research suggests that the car journey can be a really important time for families, as for some it can be the only time where a conversation can take place with very little distraction,” said family psychologist, Dr Linda Papadopolous.
“It appears that parents feel that their children are more comfortable addressing deeper and more meaningful issues if they’re not under the spotlight — if Mumor Dad are focused on the road they can’t be under their watchful gaze, and sometimes this can make it easier to open up.”