What can you do to get your children into cars? We answer that today on Gearhead Parenting.
By Omar C.
As gearheads we all like to share our passion, and often we wish we could share it with the important people in our lives, our family. But how are we supposed to initiate the new generation into the amazing lifestyle and hobby that is being a car enthusiast?
Here are seven pieces of advice for getting your children into cars.
Start them young.
I remember my car obsession started when I was five years old, and I saw an Italian supercar in a movie, that movie was The Italian Job, and that car was the Lamborghini Miura.
I was entranced by the swooping lines and magnificent curves of its body, and the glorious exhaust note it delivered as it drove around a winding road at the start of the film.
I’ve been a car enthusiast since then, and this story is similar for a lot of us, when we see a spectacular automobile, and a switch inside of us is flicked, there is no turning back.
So, showing cool and awesome cars from all eras to your children should be an integral part of gearhead parenting, and when some car catches their eye, and captures their heart, well, the next point on our list will elaborate on this.
Answer their questions fully.
Whenever an automotive question arises, it has to be answered in a fun and informative way. From classic cars to engine components, a child’s curiosity know no limits, and thanks to that, they are eager to learn, and with each satisfactory answer, they get more and more capable of learning on their own.
Giving books, models, or maybe a shop manual as presents can work wonders to awaken their inner gearhead spirit.
Curiosity is one of our most important traits as people, and nurturing that, can help anyone reach knowledge and answers they never even thought existed. This is also true for everything related to the car world and gearhead parenting.
Use social media and online content.
Hand in hand with providing good answers, we must also show the next generation what all the automotive fuzz is about.
A good place to start would be Mighty Car Mods, since their videos are not only masterfully produced; they also cater to a wide range of demographics, from JDM lovers to Drag Racing fans.
That Dude In Blue is also a good source of entertaining content.
Noriyaro is a must watch for all Japanese car enthusiasts, and his friendly style coupled with the rich car culture that stems from the land of the rising sun, makes for a very rewarding experience, especially for those that are into drifting.
But we are not limited to video only, pictures, memes, and articles are also plentiful when surfing the internet.
Get their hands dirty.
A bit of hard work and tinkering often brings joy to any gearhead, from simply changing the oil to rebuilding an engine, making your children a part of what’s going on in the garage, will teach them not only the value of dedication and perseverance, but also, the satisfaction of a job well done. This is the very essence of gearhead parenting.
Share a racing game.
This can not only build skill and reflexes, but it can also help in bonding with your children, giving them a way to have friendly rivalry and a healthy dose of competitiveness, which in turn will make them take pride in their driving skill, and prevent the development of bad driving habits.
Games like Forza Motorsport 6 or Gran Turismo 6 can be expensive, but older versions like Forza 4 or GT5 are much more affordable alternatives, even PC based simulators like Live For Speed and iRacing provide an involving experience without breaking the bank.
Teach them to drive early.
Directly related with the earlier point, teaching your kids how to drive as soon as possible is definitely a step in the right direction. Not only will it motivate them to get a driver’s license when they are old enough, they will also have a taste of yet another way in which a grown up gearhead enjoys and cherishes cars.
Watch motorsports together.
Whether it’s NASCAR, Formula 1, or the World Rally Championship, sharing a passion for motorsports is a key part of the gearhead life, any form of motorsport can be enjoyed by the family.
But the TV screen is not the only source of automotive action, local events such as autocross, drag racing, or even track days can be a be a fun weekend activity for the whole family, regardless if they are spectators or participants, just attending these events is sure to make for a great experience.
Perhaps the most important thing is to remember how you became a gearhead, and share that feeling and experience with your children.