British parents are quite literally ‘going round the houses’ when it comes to discussing serious issues with their children – by using the family car as a travelling confessional.
Today, Renault Scénic reveals new research that explores the importance of family time in the car as a place of honest conversations and storytelling. The study found that over half (54%) of kids are more likely to open up about topics such as what happened at school and trouble with friends when mum or dad is behind the wheel.
A ‘safe place’ for honest discussion
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. Picking their moment perfectly, more than one in five kids (22%) admitted 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 (8%) to getting a detention.
Beyond the playground
A third of parents (32%) find it easier to talk about more delicate subjects with the kids when on the road. Well over half (59%) of parents instigate awkward topics such as the ‘birds and the bees’ in the car so they don’t have to engage in eye-contact.
- 33% discuss troubles with friends
- 17% talk about troubles with a boyfriend or a girlfriend
- 10% of children have discussed changes in their body shape
- 8% of kids wanted the ‘sex chat’
Parents listen more in the car
One in 10 (9%) parents deliberately embark on a car journey in a desperate bid to get their child to talk more. 28% of parents admit to learning more about their children in the car then they would at home. In fact, 31% feel more clued up on their kids’ favourite music and TV shows after a journey and 22% say they know more about their friends.
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.“
The Renault Scénic, like the home away from home.
Ideal for family drives, Renault Scénic has all the features needed for a quick trip to the shops or a weekend away. With multiple options for storage and rear seats that fold down at the touch of a button, there is substantial room for suitcases and travelling necessities, allowing families to pack all the essentials for long-haul journeys.
As the family embark on their trip, passengers can enjoy the view from the panoramic sunroof whilst the whole car can listen to music from the impressive BOSE® Sound System*.
To further set the mood, drivers can play with the ambient lighting and driving mode selector – MULTI-SENSE. By using the central multimedia touchscreen**, drivers can choose from five modes:
- Eco – green ambient lighting and vehicle settings optimised for fuel economy
- Neutral – yellow ambient lighting and vehicle settings in standard configuration
- Comfort – blue ambient lighting and vehicle settings optimised for a relaxing drive
- Sport – red ambient lighting and engine/steering setup to deliver a sportier drive
- Perso – purple ambient lighting and opportunity to personalise your vehicle setup
When things become quiet, the kids can strap in their portable electronic devices on the in-built aviation tables and use the USB ports to keep them charged whilst on the move**.
Renault is Putting the Findings of the Research to the Test
Renault commissioned the research of 2,000 UK parents to highlight the importance of family time in the car as a place for quality conversations and as an environment for families to thrive. To explore the themes of the study in more detail and to put the findings to the test, Renault is conducting a year-long social experiment with online personalities Mother Pukka (@mother_pukka) and Father of Daughters (@father_of_daughters). Their daily trials and tribulations will be captured on a dash-cam, revealing the real life conversations and experiences as parents navigate all sorts of challenges. Experiences will range from the everyday school run, to family trips and after school journeys to hobbies and activities. Based on a survey carried out by Renault UK Ltd. in 2017 with 2,000 parents in the UK that drive with children aged 2-18, via OnePoll.
Groupe Renault has been making cars since 1898. Today it is an international multi-brand group, selling more than 3.18 million vehicles in 125 countries in 2016, with 36 manufacturing sites, 12,000 sales outlets and employing more than 120,000 people. To meet the major technological challenges of the future and continue its strategy of profitable growth, the Group is harnessing its international growth and the complementary fit of its three brands, Renault, Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors, together with electric vehicles and the unique Alliance with Nissan. With a new team in Formula 1 and a strong commitment to Formula E, Renault sees motorsport as a vector of innovation and brand awareness.
In the UK, Groupe Renault UK has nearly 160 dealers selling the range of Renault cars, LCVs and Dacia. Groupe Renault UK sales outgrew the UK vehicle market during 2016, with sales totalling 137,506 vehicles – up 8 per cent on 2015. Renault UK was voted number one in the 2016 Auto Express Driver Power survey for dealer satisfaction.