Intentional Conversations: The Car

Next up on my intentional conversations agenda:  the car.

I tend to think of driving time as my time.  I chat on my phone (I know, I know, that’s bad in and of itself), I listen to the radio, I think, I pray, I watch the road and try to ignore the whining/fighting/chatter in the backset.

But not anymore.  I’m not sure why this has never crossed my mind before, but when my kids are in the car, I have a captive audience.  They are strapped in.  And I am strapped in.  And while I’m focused on the road, I also can use the opportunity to engage them in conversation.

I admit:  It’s harder than I thought.  I guess I’ve gotten so used to doing my own thing in the car that my kids have gotten in the habit of doing their own things.  So, today, when I engaged my son in a conversation as we drove home from school, he kinda looked at me funny.  Isn’t that terrible?!  Poor little Joey was actually surprised that I was talking to him on our way home from school. *sigh*.

Anyway, we actually had a good conversation– about his day and his friends and even about how he prayed that Jesus would help him to stay calm and in his seat during calendar time.  It was good.

I’ve decided I’m putting my cell phone in my bag when I’m driving from now on.  Not only is it dangerous, but it’s also distracting me from my ability to have intentional conversations with my kids.

Question for you:  What do you do while you drive?


  1. First, I have to tell you that it melts my heart to hear that Joey prayed to stay calm during school. That is the sweetest! I hope my children get to that point someday.

    Second, sometimes I have to force myself to turn off the radio and talk to the kids. Terrible! It’s always awkward at first, but then I ususally end up finding out the most wonderful things about their day! Like how Jake had to thwart a little girl from kissing him yesterday at KKW!

  2. I’m very guilty of checking my texts/emails on my phone while driving. I don’t usually respond, I just want to see what’s going on. Since I just got a new car that’s bigger than my old hatchback, I’ve tried to keep my phone in my bag out of reach. Now, I try to “bond” with my kids over music. We have Kidz Bop on constant rotation. I don’t always pay attention to them, though. Sometimes I look in the rear view and watch them… they’re often daydreaming and staring out the window. I try to balance it all… I want to engage but not cause them to say, “Mom, why are you talking so much?” :)

  3. I have to admit that yesterday was full of requests from the back seat to hear certain songs again, or skip songs on the way to school. Today he was “reading” a book. I enjoyed the silence rather than trying to engage him.
    At least we usually talk on the way home, does that count for anything?
    I hadn’t thought to ask him what he was praying for…I should do that!

  4. How sweet! About a month ago I was praying (silently to myself) for Brie’s day at daycare. I realized, how silly to pray silently, when I can start a habit now of praying with Brie for her day. So, now I pray aloud “with Brie” about her upcoming day.

    • My son prays aloud for his children en route to school and I think that’s the greatest thing ever! When I took my children to school, we were all still half asleep, but on the way home was when we had the interesting conversations.

  5. So yeah! Your post made me very happy!

  6. Here’s a car tip for when your kids get older: preteens and teens apparently think you are deaf when you are driving them. Questions from the mom don’t do much when their peers are present, but if you stay totally quiet you can learn amazing things from overhearing their conversations with each other!


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