TV in the Car?

“Why do so many Americans say they want their children to watch less TV, yet continue to expand the opportunities for them to watch it? (backseat car TV monitors). More important, why do so many people no longer consider the physical world worth watching? The highway’s edge may not be postcard perfect. But for a century, children’s early understanding of how cities and nature fit together was gained from the backseat: the empty farmhouse at the edge of the subdivision; the variety of architecture, here and there; the woods and fields and water beyond the seamy edges–all that was and is still available to the eye. This was the landscape we watched as children. It was our drive-by movie.”

Some of our best family conversations are while driving.

“Yes,” we’ll say, “it’s true. We actually looked out the car window.” In our useful boredom, we used our fingers to draw pictures on fogged glass as we watched telephone poles tick by. We saw birds on the wires and combines in the fields. We were fascinated with roadkill, and we counted cows and horses and shaving cream signs. We held our little plastic cars against the glass and pretended that they, too, were racing toward some unknown destination. We considered the past and dreamed of the future, and watched it all go by in the blink of an eye.”

“But for a century, children’s early understanding of how cities and nature fit together was gained from the backseat. This was the landscape we watched as children. It was our drive-by movie.”–Richard Louv

Is roadside America really so boring today? In some stretches, yes, but all the others are instructive in their beauty, even in their ugliness.”–From Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv

This excerpt does not even mention how we all benefit in communication and relationship building without gadgets in the car.  Some of our best family conversations are while driving. Most of the time everyone is relaxed and either being silly or discussing meaningful topics. I love our family time while driving.

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