Family car place for open, honest conversation

Two families are revealing their daily life and small talk in a Renault UK experiment. Picture: Rena

Two families are revealing their daily life and small talk in a Renault UK experiment. Picture: Renault - Credit: Renault

With parents and children finding it easier to discuss issues while on the road, the family car can be like a travelling confessional.

A study that explores the importance of family time in the car as a place of honest conversations and storytelling found that the family car is becoming a travelling confessional.

The Renault UK research revealed 54% of children are 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.

Putting the findings into reality, Renault is conducting a year-long social experiment with online personalities Mother Pukka (@mother_pukka) and Father of Daughters (@father_of_daughters). Their day-to-day business will be revealed via dash-cams as the families navigate everyday life in the Renault Scénic.

It also found that 38% of parents think conversations with children are more honest in the car with 40% believing it due to their kids not being under a judgmental stare while 19% think it's because they can't immediately be sent to their room.

Children are also wise to the benefits of using the car as a place for talking openly. Picking their moment perfectly:

22% admitted to either getting into trouble with a teacher or not doing well in a test.

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14% owned up to forgetting to do homework.

8% admitted getting detention.

Further afield from school, 32% of parents find it easier to talk about more delicate subjects with the kids when on the road:

59% instigate awkward topics such as the 'birds and the bees' in the car to avoid eye contact.

33% discuss troubles with friends.

17% talk about troubles with a boyfriend or a girlfriend.

Meanwhile, when it comes to children:

10% have discussed changes in their body shape.

8% wanted the 'sex chat'.

And when it comes to parents:

9% deliberately embark on a car journey in a desperate bid to get their child to talk more.

28% admit to learning more about their children in the car then they would at home.

31% feel more clued up on their kids' favourite music and TV shows after a journey.

22% say they know more about their friends.

34% said they listen more in the car than at home with 49% believing it's the absence of having to cook and 44% having the pressure to leave the house on time that distracts them at home.

Family psychologist Dr Linda Papadopolous said: 'This research suggests that the car journey can be a really important time for families, as 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, and sometimes this can make it easier to open up. And, given the fact most parents are driving their children around in excess of eight times a week, this means families have plenty of time to talk.'

The daily trials and tribulations of the two young families will be shown at www.life.renault.co.uk

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