Family Time is Important
by Henry Floyd |
posted 18 May 2017
It was Renault who invented the concept of the people carrier, the large family car, when it launched its Scenic. New research of 2,000 UK parents by Renault UK has now revealed the importance of family time in the car. It’s far more than just a means of transport – it is a place of honest conversations and storytelling.
The study found that the family car is becoming a travelling confessional with over half of children being more likely to open up about topics such as what happened at school and trouble with friends when mum or dad is behind the wheel.
In fact, more than a third of parents think their conversations with their children are far more honest in the car than anywhere else. Over 40% believe this honesty is down to their children not being under a judgmental stare, with one in five thinking that without a threat of immediate banishment to their room, children feel freer to be honest.
There are some illuminating revelations from the children too, where they admit that they are more at home telling mum or dad about getting into trouble with a teacher, not doing well in a test, forgetting to do homework or getting a detention.
The layout of the car is found useful by over half of parents when it comes to dealing with those more delicate subjects, they too feel able to talk about things like the ‘birds and the bees’ when there is no direct eye-contact. Among the topics covered are: favourite music and TV shows; troubles with friends or with a boyfriend or a girlfriend; changes in their body shape and, as the children put it - the ‘sex chat’.
“This research suggests that the car journey can be a really important time for families,” said Dr Linda Papadopolous the leading family psychologist. “For some it can be the only time where a conversation can take place with very little distraction.”
Based on the findings of the study 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 mum or dad are focused on the road they can’t be under their watchful gaze. It’s felt that this sometimes make it easier for them to open up.