The Car-free Facts of Life?
Is that “You take the good, you take the bad …” song running through your head right now? Mine too. But that’s not the subject of today’s post.
Today’s topic is how to talk to your kids about being car-free.
Do you tell them:
- Why other kids and their families ride in cars and you don’t?
- That cars—and, in effect, the people who drive them—cause damage to the environment?
- How they should make transportation choices when they get older?
- To toughen up when it’s below zero outside?
In her article, “‘Mom, can we get the kind of car that we keep at our house?’” in Grist, Carla Saulter tries to answer these questions.
While her discussion is interesting, she doesn’t get too far, before she asks for suggestions from her readers. Some of their ideas include:
- “Although you don’t want to judge other people, think about inviting friends to take a walk with you or pointing out the people on a local bike path. Help your children to see that there is also a community of people making choices like you have and working together.”
- “My basic parenting creed seem to apply here, as elsewhere: Be firm on rules, structure, and your own values, and then make it clear that you respect your children as individuals, and that they are allowed to be different (but after they leave home!)”
- “As much as we want to have perfect answers to totally impossible questions, I think that honest and spontaneous (albeit thoughtful) conversation is the best way to really teach children how complex these things are.”
- “Maybe you should get off the bus and onto bikes for a while to emphasize the fun side of your freedom from traveling about in steel boxes.”
The verdict: It’s probably easier than the sex talk, but still no walk in the park.
Any other parents out there struggling with this?