Repeat them (God’s words) again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Deuteronomy 6:7
How many hours do you spend in the car, taking your kids to sports, music lessons, school–everywhere?
You feel like a taxi driver and it does indeed get very tiring. But in the midst of these many hours in the car, you’ve actually been given a gift. And that gift is the time that you have with your kids in the car.
Think of the car travel–this is where some of the most honest and uninhibited conversations with my kids have taken place. So much of our parenting is about being available and in the right place when our kids finally decide they are ready to talk.
Author Jessica Lahey (The Gift of Failure) shares her own experience:
I have found that the more positive and relaxed the atmosphere in the car, the more often kids will seize the opportunity to talk about difficult subjects, topics that are not likely to come up in the usual course of a stressful, task-oriented, and tightly scheduled day. Here is a place to talk about the ups and downs of what happened at the game or at practice, a place to confide in disappointments, exhaustion, passion, or disinterest.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for most families. In many cars, kids are ignored, entertained by movies or their phones, or drowned out by the radio. For many kids, their worst memory is the ride home from a youth sports even or a meeting with the teacher; those memories include hours of travel time used to criticize, critique and lecture.
That’s a huge parenting fail and a missed opportunity–those hours were wasted instead of being used for conversation and just enjoying each other’s company. Obviously, you don’t have to fill every moment with heartfelt conversation, but just be ready to listen, laugh, and enter into conversation with your child. Those car rides can be gold!
Are you taking advantage of this gift of time that you’ve been given with your child? It ends when the driver’s license arrives! Parents, this is a gift you must not squander!