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Backseat Advice

I had a vision.

Before I was a parent, I had this vision that my kids and I would have these 30-minute life-changing conversations where we would sit down over coffee and hot-chocolate.

Now that I am a parent, that vision has been shattered. To a million pieces.

My guess is that before you were a parent you had a vision like this and now that you are a parent that vision has been shattered.

The reality is that those moments of 30-minute discussions, even 5-minute discussions rarely, if ever exist. And yet, we as parents need a way to have conversations that guide our children.

So, what do we do? There is a place that I have found that offers a captive audience and is a place that our children are much more willing to talk.

This mysterious place. Your car.

You see, the car is a place where profound and life-changing discussions can happen. And it makes sense, in Deuteronomy, it talks about impressing God's guidelines to your child AS YOU ARE GOING. And if we think about it, it makes sense. There is less pressure and it makes the advice seem like a normal part of life.

There are three ways to increase this super-power of your car.

  • Be A Media Ninja- Unless we go on long trips, an hour or more we don’t allow tablets to be taken or used in our vehicles. We have the radio on, loud enough to hear, but not too loud where discussion would be difficult without turning down the music a long ways

  • Master the Benign Question- Don’t start out with deep, life-altering questions. Start out with the simple, “How was your day?”

  • Let Them Talk- My tendency is to blab and talk and blab and talk and preach and teach and lecture and talk and blab, yet I have found when given space, kids will bring up some important life-changing issues that they are dealing with.

Give it a try and then let me know how it goes.

Please feel free to share any ways that have worked for you and your child in the comments below.


Mike has worked with teens and parents for 14+ years. Mike has been married to Natalie for over 10 years. They love living near downtown Holland. Mike prides himself on being left-handed and even has a left-handed clock in his office that confuses the majority of those who glance at it!

Healthy conversations with your teen:

As a parent, you know the importance of having healthy and meaningful conversations with your teen. You know that healthy and meaningful conversations with your teen are vital to their emotional, physical, social and spiritual health.


The PROBLEM is knowing how to have those healthy and meaningful conversations is difficult and at times seems impossible. There are a lot of reasons to why you don't feel qualified or able to have these conversations. Maybe you struggle with knowing what is going on in your teen's life. Maybe you struggle with keeping up with technology. Maybe you weren't the best teen and now don't feel qualified to talk with your teen about making healthy choices.


We exist to guide you along this journey and to encourage you. From a biblical basis and our experience, we will give you tools and encouragement to have healthy and meaningful conversations with your teen.

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