Here in Jakarta, I find myself ‘stuck’ in car rides (and traffic) with the kids a LOT. Everyday.
And this, naturally, can be draining. For the mom. Who is also the driver.
Like when the older ones bicker, or when the youngest one whines and cries over unreasonable matters (if you’re a parent, you’ll know what I mean =)
But, having said that, I must say that car rides offer a great opportunity for us to discuss many, many issues, correct wrong thinking, and instill values in the kids.
I mean, since everyone is ‘trapped’ in the car for a period of time, we might as well use that time to build a habit of talking and sharing with each other, yes? =)
In our case, the conversation topics can be about anything really.
Sometimes they’d re-tell stories/jokes they read from books at the library.
Often, they share the happenings at school. eg. What their teachers say in class, what they play during recess, how their friends respond towards another friend’s work, etc.
(Btw, since each child started going to nursery school, I made it a habit for them to ‘share their day’ as soon as they see me after school. It’s just my personal way of nurturing a habit of open communication and sharing with the parents since young =)
Car rides offer a great opportunity for us to discuss many, many issues, correct wrong thinking, and instill values in the kidsSometimes, they ask us random questions too, eg. ‘Why are there beggars on the street of Jakarta’, or ‘Why my friends did THAT at school and no one told them off?’, ‘Why do we have to study THAT subject at school’, etc =)
And, most of the time, we share values and principles with them too, … like, adults and teachers can make mistakes too, why looking after your brother and sister is super important, how we should feel confident when doing the right things, and how we should never stop learning, including Mommy and Daddy who must continually learn too.
When the TV is ‘regularly’ switched on soon after the kids enter the car, there goes our precious opportunities to talk and communicate with them.Anyway.
I just want to say it again: car rides are really OUR opportunity as parents to build that communication habit with the kids.
Which, btw, is why we personally disagree with having TVs or portable DVD players in the car.
I mean, we all for sure know how such ‘technology’ can easily ‘entertain’ the kids sitting at the back seat (allowing us adults to rest and talk about OUR topics with less interruptions from them).
Whether we realise it or not, when the TV is ‘regularly’ switched on soon after the kids enter the car, there goes our precious opportunities to talk and communicate with them.
I mean, the kids can’t go anywhere once they’re inside our car, yes?
So why should we let go off such a precious opportunity to chat and know them better?
(Btw, if it is a looong car ride, eg. A 4-hour drive out of town or something, then I guess, watching TV during the car ride helps them ‘kill time’? I don’t know. I mean, I personally wonder, … doesn’t watching TV while the car is moving give you a headache?)
Just sharing a personal thought on this.
And me, … I am learning to be thankful.
Learning to be thankful for daily moments where we can exchange thoughts and simply … chat, with the kids.
Yes, even though being stuck in mad traffic everyday is frankly NOT a choice I’d love to make =)
PS: Photos were safely taken when we’re in a complete stop (read: stuck in a traffic jam)