Fam­ily car a trav­el­ling con­fes­sional

Weekend Herald - - ME & MY CAR -

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.”

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