Opening up on the road

The car has become today’s confessional with a new study finding that people talk more openly on the road than anywhere else.

Research from Renault UK found that more than a third (38%) of parents think their conversations with their children are far more honest in the car than anywhere else. Over 40% believe this honesty is down to their kids not being under a judgmental stare and one in five (19%) think it’s because their kids can’t immediately be sent to their room.

It’s not just parents, who are wise to the benefits of using the car as a place for talking openly. More than one in five children (22%) admit to getting into trouble with a teacher or not doing well in a test (22%).  A further 14% have owned up to forgetting to do homework and almost one in 10 (eight per cent) to getting a detention.

It also found that 33% discuss troubles with friends and 17% talk about troubles with a boyfriend or a girlfriend

A third (34%) of parents said they listen more in the car than at home. Of those surveyed, 49% believe it’s the absence of having to cook and 44% having the pressure to leave the house on time (44%) that distracts them at home.

Dr Linda Papadopolous, leading family psychologist 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.’