Heather, “Spend one-on-one time with them. I find when I get in the car with one of the children, I don’t even have to start conversation. They open up and tell me things about their lives, their friends, school, etc.” Tip 2
I also loved ‘car time.’ Although, it wasn’t as precious as it is today, I somehow knew the value of those uninterrupted discussions. That being said, I can confidently add given the technological options, I would have had them available. I would have chosen silence. I can also confidently say, it would have been a bad decision.
With cell phones and built in car-theater systems, one-on-one time has become increasingly challenging to find. Our ‘car-time’ was high quality. We talked a lot about what-ifs, how come, and what do you think abouts.
On the way to an event, we talked about where we were going and what could be expected. On return, we talked about what we thought of it all, and what was happening next. We talked and talked and talked. We sang, we learned, we watched, we listened, and we paid attention to each other. I parented, shared, and guided, such special times.
My sister-in-law first introduced me to the concept of “technology-free-drive” when announcing it to her kids. I instantly loved the idea! The kids were instructed to leave their devices home. Even though I had never had the luxury of handheld devices while parenting, a “technology-free-drive” still sounds a bit erroneous. I thought it to be a brave statement, “Leave the devices home.”
Even though much time has passed since our family drives, I haven’t forgotten the incessant chatter, or the ache for silence, when entrapped in a car with my sweet little boy. In my day, I occasionally packed a bag full of potential distractions. Having had the option of “i-technology,” I certainly would have approved it!
In my opinion, it is the harder choice to opt for a “techo-free drive.” As in most cases, the harder choice has the highest reward. Those rare moments, when you can secure a captive audience, can be so very captivating! I think the phrase “techo-free time” can interchange with the old-fashion notion of, “quality-time.”
Much can be covered, and uncovered, on a family drive. You don’t even have to be eye-to-eye! It is sometimes richer because you are not eye-to-eye. I think this can be some of the most undervalued, underutilized, and unpredictable time. The car is a great stage for communication and conflict resolution.
Drives are great, even when they aren’t!