When mom lectures in the car

Do little boys listen to to their mom’s incessant reminders while sitting in the car?

Do they register what mom is saying at all?

Do they care?

I don’t know when else I can have these chats with this boy. In the car, on the way to his sports camp, after his sister is dropped off, seemed like a good idea.

In hindsight, it’s a terrible idea. Because what this boy needs is EYE CONTACT. At eye level, if possible. Because eye contact at eye level is the only way I can be assured he not only hears me, he registers what I am saying to him. And more importantly, understands what I expect of him.

If I speak to him at eye level with eye contact the odds of him retaining what I am saying increase…right?

My car conversation with him this morning went something like this:

Me: Why do you tease your sister when she’s already cranky?

Ben: (turns his face to look out the window.)

Ben: I don’t know.

Me: That high-pitches screeching she does is really irritating to me and your dad.

Ben: (I wish we had a black pickup truck like that one)

Me: Are you listening to me?

Ben: (Or a trailer! Yes, we need a trailer!)

Ben: Uhm…yes.

Me: We really don’t like starting the day out all irritated like this. Do you like it when daddy and I are all tense?

Ben: …Nooo…

Ben: (Maybe we can get a trailer hook to put on the new pickup truck and pull the trailer from there.)

Me: How about you help me out here. When Sonja is already cranky, you just leave her alone. Okay?


Me: Benjamin? Are you listening to me?

Ben: *sigh* Yes.

Why do I bother? I’ll have to repeat this conversation next time he’s standing in front of me and I have his undivided attention.

Or something.

Apparently this is a recurring problem. This not listening to me.


2 thoughts on “When mom lectures in the car

  1. Moms lecturing… oh, oh, oh.

    Great article, very insightful!

    (I would *love* to say that I have been continually wise to avoid these kinds of conversations, but that would be a gross overstatement!)

    Yes, I would have had that conversation going down a completely different path (pun intended)…

    Like ask the boy if he noticed his parents getting intense this morning… and why he might think that happened… perhaps leading him to understanding…


    Automobile yoga works, too.

  2. Your suggestions are lovely, and thought provoking, as always. But the point of this particular post was more about how I was venting ‘at’ my child fully realizing, even at a subconscious level, that he wasn’t going to register, at least not for the long term, what it was that I was trying to get through to him. I mean, I was talking to him while paying attention to traffic, and speed limits, and construction….and looking at him periodically via my rear view mirror. Not a very effective way to engage a child in a two-way conversation.

    But this morning. While parked at the Montessori with that child, prior to dropping him off, prior to even starting the car, I turned to face him and we had a similar chat. About gratitude, for one thing. about why some of his friends at Sportplay go home at lunch (likely a financial reason on behalf of the parents). About how daddy has to go to work every day to bring home money we can spend on things that help us live life in a nice way.

    He had a different expression on his face…we shall continue our chats, and I certainly will remember to try and get HIM to answer the questions rather than ME lecturing him. I do get tired of hearing my voice and it just seems so absolutely futile…

    Thanks for the comment!

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