Using Car Time Wisely

There’s just not enough time in the day. I want to share a dozen lessons on… I won’t list them. [Well, I did, but it ended up being a paragraph no one would want to read, so I’ll move on.] Some days it seems like I spend more time in my car (shuttling kids around) than out of it, so I need to do what I can with the time & place I have.  My point is, I’ve learned the importance of using car time wisely.

Morning Prayers

Those couple of minutes it takes to warm up the car is the perfect time to say a quick prayer. We usually start with the Angel of God prayer, and then say a little something from the heart.

Spiritual Conversations Overheard in my Car:

No. 5: Jesus gave me these.

Dad: What? Who gave you what?

No. 5: Jesus gave me my crayon.

No. 6: Number 4 gave that to him.

Dad: Number 4 is Jesus?!?

No. 4: Yes. Yes, I am.

Dad: Number 4, if you are Jesus, then WHO AM I?

Repetitive Learning

Spelling words, multiplication facts, and basically anything that the kids have to learn by rote can be practiced in the car. It’s great because as an adult, you already know the answers so you don’t need to read any paperwork while you drive.

Logical Conversations Overheard in my Car:

Me: Do you want a Happy Meal or to go home for lunch?

No. 6: McDonalds!

Me: Ok, but just so you know, McDonalds makes me fat.

No. 6: Well, YOU don’t have to eat McDonalds…

Lecture of the Day

Every morning I drive my 6th grader (Number 4) to school. The elementary and high school kids get a bus, but we live too close to the middle school to qualify for a bus drive. I’ve considered letting them walk on their own in the past, but Number 2 had to carry a cello twice her size. I would have put money down on molasses beating Number 3 to school in the morning. Number 4? Sigh… not sure that guy would stop walking once he made it to the school. Anyway, I spend the five minutes of drive time talking about things one on one.  It’s nice having a captive audience!

My Captive Audience

Family Meeting

We don’t have family meetings as regularly as we should, so taking a few minutes in the car fills the gaps. Sometime these meetings cover the next few hours, but sometimes we have time to go over the coming week.

Everyday Observations

Talking about changes in the neighborhood or anything else that catches your fancy enriches your child’s understanding of their surroundings.

Observing the World Conversations Overheard in my Car:

No. 5: They have a treehouse!

Everybody: Cool!

No. 4: They could have tried harder.

Me: Said the King of Not Trying Hard.

No. 4: Exactly. I know what not trying hard looks like, and they did great!

Just Connecting

Even if you aren’t saying anything, just listen to your children talk. It’s an easy way to find out what they are into and thinking about.

Philosophical Conversations Overheard in my Car:

No. 2: Mom, you’re listening to Zumba music while eating Bill Miller’s BBQ.

Me: That way, I burn calories while eating at the same time.

No. 3: I’m not sure that’s how it works.

No. 2: Yeah, maybe energetic music can make us emotionally strong… well not Number 3’s music, because her music is depressing.

No. 3: It’s not depressing, it’s MEANINGFUL!

Using Car Time Wisely

It’s difficult to get all of the family together for any reason, and even harder to keep everyone’s attention once they are all together. Using car time wisely just makes sense. If nothing else, directing the car conversation keeps sibling “conversations” from getting too ridiculous. Usually. Ok, sometimes. If you’re lucky.

I'd love to hear what has worked for you!

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