Tuesday 15th September 2015
Child Car

The family car is one of the last "uninterrupted" spaces for families to come together without all the distractions we're usually surrounded by. Despite this it is often overlooked as a place where parents can connect with their children – with only 5% of parents saying that it is a good place for a "proper" conversation.

A 65% majority instead favoured discussions around the dinner table. 18% prefer to have conversations while out walking, such as at the park, while 11% said the child’s bedroom was the best place. Just 2% opted for talking in the living room while playing or watching television.

The car is a neutral, non-confrontational social area – because no one is directly facing those they are talking to, it allows the family to express things without worrying about the direct reaction.

This makes the car a place where children can feel safe and comfortable confiding in their parents. Without toys, tablets and televisions, cars offer very few distractions and could be considered a convenient place to have important conversations with children while you have their full attention.

Parents spend a lot of time driving, whether it is for the school run, the weekly shop or dropping children off for playdates. With plenty of opportunity to strike up a conversation, it is a wonder why more people don’t favour the car as a communal family area.

And it’s not just a good chance for important discussions. While televisions and the internet dominate the home, the radio - once the hub of family entertainment - is in the spotlight while families are on the move. The radio offers important communal time, bringing people together through talk shows and music. Alternatively for a long road trip, a guessing game or a game of I Spy are good ways to have fun and feel connected as a family, especially when there’s an exciting destination to look forward to.

It could be argued that it is safer to save important discussions for around the dinner table, for fear of drivers becoming too distracted. However, as long as drivers pay proper attention to the roads, car journeys can safely be a fun and important place in which to communicate.

Mark Bower-Dyke, chairman of Be Wiser Insurance, comments: “The average motorist will spend over three years of their life driving – that’s a lot of school runs. As an extension of the home, cars are an important part of family life, and shouldn’t be disregarded as simply a way to get from A to B, but considered as a place for families to connect with each other on a daily basis.”

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