Zionsville Times Sentinel

February 19, 2014

Car rides can be educational; use time wisely


Zionsville Times Sentinel

---- — Car rides — the perfect time to tune into the latest news on the radio or catch up on needed phone calls. Yet, the isolation from usual daily distractions also makes a car ride a golden opportunity for parenting. Car rides offer a unique setting for those in-depth conversations with children that get routinely interrupted in the busyness of the day. Away from the clutter, we can concentrate on both what our children are saying and how they are saying it. Attention focused on tone, body language and context give keen insights on how we can engage to respond. Recently, during a ride to the grocery I shared with our youngest, she chatted away about her day. Before long she was telling a story about a tea party she had with her stuffed animals. As she relayed their “conversation,” she was soon talking about her teddy bear’s worry over how to help a hurting friend. I began asking questions, which led us to my daughter’s concerns as to how she could help her father since his stroke. Important concerns. Concerns I would have missed if I had been tuned into the news rather than her chatter. Car rides also offer opportunities to teach — and so much more than just reviewing multiplication tables or spelling words. How we handle ourselves in the car offers lessons on how our children should handle themselves in life. See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.