Car time is key - Catholic Courier

Car time is key

One aspect of successful relationships is communication. Without it, we drift apart and lose touch with one another. We know that communication is important, so how do we find time to have meaningful conversations with our loved ones when everyone is traveling in different directions? How do we carve out precious time when there are not enough minutes in a day?

When our children were little, we asked advice from some friends with grown children. We saw that their family was close and we wanted to know their secret. The dad told us that, while his kids were growing, he would take one child with him whenever he had an errand to run. He never went anywhere alone. He always took someone to "help" him, even if it would have been easier or faster to just complete the errand by himself. Those times with his children were the secret to his healthy relationships with them.

We learned that "car time" is a great opportunity for communication. There seems to be something about riding in the car together that encourages relaxed sharing on random topics. In our family, car time has been abundant as we’ve shuttled our kids to and from all kinds of lessons and sporting events and sleepovers. Following our friend’s advice, we tried to include a child on each errand. We have worked on keeping car conversations upbeat and casual, allowing our children to express their thoughts and feelings while we pay attention. This is not a time for to-do lists or constructive criticism. Car time has become, for us, an opportunity for listening and learning and loving. Over the years, I have often been amazed at the secrets and fears and hopes and dreams that tumbled out of our children’s mouths, turning routine car trips into amazing journeys.

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