When I was growing up, we did a LOT of traveling. My dad worked out of town most of my life. He has the amazing opportunity to work in tons of different cities all over the US.
Since my dad’s room and board was covered, all my parents had to pay for was the gas for mom and us to meet dad, plus meals. Let me tell you…we knew how to brown bag it.
I really grew to love traveling, because it provided a great time for us to bond with each other. Of course, I didn’t live in an era where there was tv’s in our car or hand held devices. I feel that the habits that we established helped us to really connect.
These tips are great for long trips as well as short car rides. I always look forward to getting in the car and going places.
Implement Car Etiquette That Makes Connecting Easier
One of the best ways to connect while riding, is to talk with each other and your kids. This will require everyone in the car to have proper etiquette that makes it easier to connect.
We encourage our kids to talk to each other and find ways to entertain themselves. However, when they get too loud, we ask them to keep it down. No one is allowed to play in a way that causes them to scream or yell.
If anyone is doing something in that small of a space that is very loud or distracting, it can make it unenjoyable for everyone. We have worked to help our kids understand car etiquette so that we can enjoy the time together.
Keep Device Use to a Minimum
I am not saying that we never use our phones while we drive, but we try to keep it to a minimum. If someone is texting either of us, we try to keep the conversations short with the other person so that we have the time to talk.
We use the same rules with our cell phones while chatting in the car as we do if we are at home and engaged in a conversation. Also, there are times when we ride quietly or with the radio on without talking, or using our phones. This way, we don’t discourage the other person from starting a conversation. Just being open to communicating is really important.
If we are on a long road trip, device use goes up, but we still keep it to a limit. Working hard to teach my kids car etiquette has helped to keep them occupied without television and video games.
Use Conversation Starters
If you have been following me for a while, then you know I’m a huge advocate of conversation starters. It can be hard to have interesting conversations on a long trip.
It can be a good idea to listen to a book, podcast, or the radio together. This provides you with something that is interesting and helps you to connect with each other. For long trips, this can be very helpful. Even around town, you might consider putting something on here and there.
We have found that if we have the radio on, our kids can sometimes end up getting louder because they are trying to talk over it. If that is the case, we cut it off and let them entertain themselves in other ways.
I really enjoy getting in the car and going places with Austin or as a whole family. The times we had in the car or around the dinner table were the times we connected most when I was growing up. I’m so glad I’ve been able to bring that into my family now.
How do you connect as a family? Do you have car rules that make it easier to talk with each other?