Front Seat Conversations with My Son

photo (6) Last summer my son started talking to me. My first born, the one I make all the mistakes with because his birth order has put him in charge of all the firsts. The first to train, the first to go to school, the first to be a teenager. It’s not easy for either of us, and I think between the both of us, I have apologized to him more than he to me. But something happened last summer as we spent more time alone in the car together on trips back and forth to the gym. He began CrossFit just as I began coaching. He saw his Momma teaching the big guys, and the big guys listening to her. Maybe he should listen too.

Then one night on the way to CrossFit, a Front Seat Conversation happened. He dropped a bomb on me. He asked a question that may have been better posed to his Dad than me. But none the less he asked it. My first thought was, “should mother’s and sons be having this conversation?” Yes! Yes! Yes! I will spare you the details, but my second thought was, “thank God my son comes to me with life questions!” For the first time I realized that my son honored me, respected me, and wanted my input into his most personal feelings. He was inviting me to help mold him into a man. I calmly answered his question, because answering this question thoughtfully would dictate him ever coming to me again- I had to be wise, I had to show compassion balanced with authority.  I asked him open ended questions, discussed his feelings, but  ended the conversation with consequences for such actions. No matter what your kids ask you, be sure to include the consequences and how it not only affects their lives but the lives of others around them. This includes sharing the consequences of drugs, alcohol, drink driving, protected sex as well as unprotected sex, greed, jealousy, bullying, anger, selfishness, laziness, reckless driving, poor friend choices, and pornography. The youth of today MUST understand the consequences of their actions! Even if they never get caught, there are still consequences.

We have had more Front Seat Converstions over the months. Some stay between us while others I share with his Dad prompting Himself to grab him and say, “OK kid it’s you and me for a guys night out,” and off they go for burgers and male bonding.

Why I think the Front Seat is our special place? We are both looking ahead, literally and figuratively and although we are side by side equally, he knows who’s in the drivers seat. He can’t get out. There is no uncomfortable eye contact, in fact he is excused from making any eye contact at all!  We are close, but not too close.  We are alone.  And when all else fails, there is the radio, our heads bobbing together to the music, his music. Together.

I encourage you to have Front Seat Conversations with you children, it may keep them out of a back seat one day.


  1. Posted April 18, 2013 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

    What a great story and major milestone in your relationship with your son. It takes a lot of trust for him to share his inner self with you.

  2. Posted April 18, 2013 at 9:39 AM | Permalink

    Awesome! Sons (or daughters) that communicate, no matter what age they are, are a blessing! Have some more fun/informative/thought provoking drives!

  3. Tonya
    Posted April 18, 2013 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

    Great story and advice. I am starting to have conversations with the girls. Nothing monumental but the lines of communication are open. Sometimes they start to head for the back seat and I say “No. Come sit up front with me and keep me company.” They start talking about their teachers, the new fun teen slang words, what they would like to accomplish…. No serious stuff yet. I am going to remember your blog entry. You do want them to come back to talk. Instead of anger and judgement – I like the idea of calmness and discussing consequences to their actions.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Mandah
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    Car convos (as I have called them) are da bomb. I can’t tell you how many though-provoking, touching, and even downright WEIRD conversations my son and I have had in the car during his 14 years. Politics, girls, school – it’s all fair game. Good stuff!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted March 5, 2014 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

      Thank you Mandah!

  5. maggie repp
    Posted March 5, 2014 at 2:17 AM | Permalink

    Absolutely fantastic article Robin!!! Thank you for taking the time to share these things, and doing it so eloquently!!!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted March 5, 2014 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

      Thanks Maggie!!!

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