Does your car say too much about you?

[deleted account] ( 31 moms have responded )

So I usually post news stories for debate, but I've been thinking about this for a long time now and I thought I'd ask for your opinions :)

One day I saw some of those cute "Our Family" stickers for the back windows of cars. I wanted it and my hubby said no because he says it gives out too much info about our family to total strangers. This is also the reason why he won't ever put any bumper stickers about family on the car (i.e. "My child is ________ at __________ School!) or let our kids use car window safe chalk to write on the cars.

I thought about it for a minute and realized he has a very valid point. So, I did a little experiment. One Saturday I drove around the block for a bit. There was one car that was empty, but covered in the kinds of things I listed above. Here is what I was able to deduce about the family JUST from their car (I never saw them before):

They have 4 kids, 3 of which are girls and 1 is a boy. The boy is the youngest (this is based on the sizes of the charters on the family sticker and the order in which the kids were put on).

They have 2 cats, a dog and a bird as pets.

All the kids' schools were on the car in the form of bumper stickers expaining the kids' achievements.

The older 2 girls do ballet (or some form of dance, their family sticker characters have on ballet outfits) and their studio was listed on a bumper sticker.

The remaining girl is into soccer (her character on the family sticker has a soccer ball) and her team name AND jersey number were written on the car in that car safe chalk.

The boy is into football (his family sticker character is wearing the pads and holding a football).

The dad is most likely a fireman (his character is dressed like one) and the mom is most likely a professional working mom (her character was wearing a business suit and holding a breifcase).

They went to Disney Land fairly recently (the bumper sticker wasn't yet faded) and they have gone before (their license plate frame is a Disney Land one, but it's faded WAY more than the bumper sticker). The newer sticker could either mean they just got around to putting it on, OR it could mean their children were off track last month, which would put them in C track (our school is year-round remember).

I think that is A LOT of info for random strangers to have about a family, and especially the kids! What do you all think?


Jodi - posted on 10/20/2010




There is a pedophile that lives just 1900 feet from my driveway, and another a few blocks away, I don't give them anything to tempt them. Unfortunately, only our front yard is big enough for a swing set, so that kind of gives away that fact that I have at least one child. But, I never allowed the Welcome Home baby signs to be put up or congratulations or anything, the only thing that lets you know I have a kid about my car is the carseat, the windowshade and the cracker crumbs in the back seat. It's a dangerous world...but on top of that, i just don't feel the need to get cute little decals put on my car for anything, kids, trips, pets, achievements, beliefs...nada! lol

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 10/20/2010




You do have a valid point Kate, about someone coming and pretending an emergency happened, but that is where having a code word with your child comes in.

I teach my son that who ever comes to pick him up from anywhere they need “THE” code word…that includes grandma, grandpa…everyone except me and dad.

I think its ok…its cute.

If your out with all your kids and you just got done picking them up from whatever practice they just had, people will know what they do anyhow,

As far as having a bumper sticker with your Childs name on it…I don’t agree with, but if it just says…my child is an Honor roll student as…so , and , so school that’s fine.

My car says nada bout me…as a matter of fact people probably think im Asian, when they see the car…My windows are tinted so they cant see me, but MANY Asians drive the kind of car I have…LOL

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[deleted account]

Our car says were easy laid back folks with two kids and one parent has a bad addiction to coffee lol.One child hates shoes and socks and hair accessories with the amount around her baby seat.:-) thats about it.

Rosie - posted on 10/22/2010




looking at my car you can tell i'm a democrat (hence my GOP -grand oil party, bumpersticker). and i like to listen to z102.9.
you can tell i have kids, since i have 2 car seats, and a stroller, and that i'm messy. filthy almost.

Krista - posted on 10/22/2010




My car doesn't say too much -- it's a generic Ford Taurus with a car seat, a bunch of discarded coffee cups, my son's stuffed rabbit, my sneakers, and other assorted detrius.

It basically says that I'm a mom who drinks coffee and doesn't have any time to clean out her car.

JuLeah - posted on 10/22/2010




My car says my child was once a toddler and I allowed her to have stickers.
My car says cracker crumbs on the floor are not my biggest concern in life
My car says she looked sharp not that long ago and maybe with a bit of attention, and some romance, she would again
My car says she knows how many depend on her and she will keep running no matter what
My car says, when the kids are not in the backseat, she loves to travel at very high speeds with the radio blasting (maybe I am projecting on that last one)

[deleted account]

We never put bumper stickers on the car as we aren't too fond of them. Heck we bought a used truck and the previous owner had put some "chrome" decals on it. Hubby took those down pretty quick. As far as the info, we never leave anything around the car with our names on it or anything that can give out any info on our family. You can tell we have a toddler because of the car seat and the endless amount of crumbs in the back seat but that's it. I am not paranoid but I was raised not to take chances with privacy. Anyone can get the info and use it for shady business... heck i don't want someone to see my address on a credit card bill laying around in the car... So they know my address, my cc number and my name, HECK NO. ID theft, theft of items in the home, etc. I'll pass. Chances are slim but are still there so I take precautions.

Serena - posted on 10/21/2010




I actually started thinking about this same issue after I watched an episode of Dexter where the Trinity Killer abducted a child because he watched what car he came out, which had the family stickers on it with names. So it had me thinking about it and my husband has already put a stop to too many stickers. I had a pink ribbon magnet but someone took it. I did have my alma mater lisc plate but I did notice that it did make my car stand out because I am from Hawaii and living on the mainland you don't see too many Hawaiian words around. But now we only have Coastie stickers which do start enough conversations.

Jenny - posted on 10/21/2010




My 4Runner sayas I'm awesome because I drive a Toyota.

I would never add bumper stickers to a vehicle because of potential resale value.

September - posted on 10/21/2010




Some people do bummer stickers and some don't. Some people are paranoid about these kinds of things and some are not. However that is a whole heck of a lot of info to put out there I must say. You can tell that we have a child by looking at our car because our windows are not tinted and we have a car seat but other than the fact that we have a child, our car says nothing else about us. We don't do bumpers stickers :)

[deleted account]

Our back windows are tinted as much as state law allows, but if you get real close you can see that I have at least 2 kids (from the car seats), but that's the only distinguishing thing in our car. My hubby is real big on privacy (and resale values of the car! lol) so he refuses to put anything on the car.

As for the family stickers with the names - creepy! I've even seen some where they put their LAST name on the top (i.e. The Smith Family) and then put all their names under their figures. Talk about WAY too much info!! Yikes!

Bonnie - posted on 10/21/2010




My husband and I are both not into the whole bumper sticker thing. I had not even thought of it that way though. That is a lot of information to gather about one family. My husband drives a van because he likes it for his work. Our family vehicle was an SUV and that was the only vehicle I drove until I realised just recently we were already lacking space just with transporting the two kids so I opted to trade it in for a van as well. So no bumper stickers or anything on my vehicle, but all people would have to do is look inside and you will find two car seats so that would definately give away that there are children. If we ever decide to put any stickers you can be rest assured I will certainly think about it differently now though.

C. - posted on 10/21/2010




What do I think? I think I'm always going to refrain from putting bumper stickers on my car :) Your husband has a good point. Hubby and I aren't ones for bumper stickers to begin with, but I definitely think this will turn him off the idea forever. (*Ready to commence evil plan so hubby will never want to put a bumper sticker on the car..* hehehe) I mean *ahem*.. *evil laugh here* :D

~Jennifer - posted on 10/21/2010




...i have a mini van.

It has a peace sign magnet, a magnet of a deflated soccer ball with a knife stuck in it, and a bunch of tattoo shop bumper stickers.

I'd say that my car says : Dont fuck with me or my kids.

Kate CP - posted on 10/21/2010




You can tell I have one child and I do dog rescue from my car: one booster seat, tons of dog hair, and rescue sticker on the back. That's about it.

Sharon - posted on 10/21/2010





I drive a 2 ton black suburban with limo tint windows.

There are NO bumper stickers, you can't see inside, you can see the dash. There are two stuffed frogs sitting in a hawaiian woven banana leaf head thing. There is a patriotic swarovski crystal "ribbon" hanging from my visor. You can't even see the second row of seats.

Jessica - posted on 10/21/2010




My litte car is dirty to..poor ol girl. I have a "Baby on Board" sign in my bright yellow car and a rear facing carseat. You can't tell from the carseat if I have a boy or girl. About the only thing you can tell from my car, is that it is a total chicks car, bright yellow, and I have a stuff little witch bear and a witch figurine in my rearview mirror. ( they are up year round, not just halloween :) )

Jessica - posted on 10/21/2010




WOW that is a lot of info, lol! Personally way more than I'd want to put out there about my family/children. I have seen the ones with names too- no thank you. I thin some bumper stickers are fine, though the cars covered in political bumpers tickers annoy me. And the ones with past presidential candidates (who lost) are funny.

My car has one bumper sticker- it says "Born again. And again, and again..." its referring to reincarnation while poking fun at born again Christianity. I thought it was funny when I was 19 lol so I got it; I wouldn't put anymore on it now but it doesn't bother me enough to try and take it off. I think a lot of people don't get it though- I've had people make comments to me about it that imply that they think I'm some kind of super-Christian, haha! I also have a decal on my back windshield with my college logo.

Pamela - posted on 10/21/2010




I would not post info about my family on my car. I can't imagine it being anything but UNsafe. In fact, I'm not into putting stickers on my car anyway.

[deleted account]

The only thing my car says about me is that I like Obama and I never wash my car lol I never even thought about the bumper stickers on cars giving away too much info on my family. The only sticker I have on my car is my Obama '08 bumper sticker but I do think those family ones are cute. I just never looked at them in a sinister way like a criminal would. Good food for thought because really, now that I think about it, many times I've sat at red lights staring at the vehicle in front of me and by the time the light is green I know that they love Jesus, are proud of their soccer playing daughter from "X" school and that they support the troops. I'm not a big fan of bumper stickers but I think I'll probably end up getting one of the family ones.

[deleted account]

Honestly, I see no harm in them.I don't have a family decal, but they are very popular. I do have a decal that says "Native" with a Palmetto Tree in the middle where the "i" should be. I also have a magnet for his Taekwondo school, but I fail to see how that would aid an abductor in taking him--I go to taekwondo and Baseball with him (We don't have a baseball magnet, but I would consider it if he wanted it).

Any one could deduce that much about our family without seeing a decal on my car. At his school, only authorized people are allowed to pick him up, we are allowed to have 5 emergency pick up contacts, and they have to come into the office, and show their state issued ID to pick up my son. To pick him up, I have to be in one of the two cars we listed, and have his number displayed in my windshield--the week I had to drive a rental, I had to go into the office and show my ID to pick him up.

Jenn - posted on 10/21/2010




I have no bumper stickers because I think they're tacky and ugly. The only thing you could tell about us from our truck is that we abuse it as it's always dirty and has a cracked side mirror, and that DH is a hunter as he has a turkey beard hanging from the rear view mirror.

Caitlin - posted on 10/21/2010




I own a mini van - which makes people think parent, and one glance inside would tell them I have a toddler (forward facing seat with 5 point harness) and a base for a baby seat, so a baby as well. They woudl most likely think they are both boys, because of the colour of the seats, but they are both girls, I just hate flowery things...

Ummm, I didn't let my husband put his airborne sticker on our van because it's my mommy mobile. The only sticker that\s on our van besides that it a "support our troops" ribbon and I only let that sticker go on because my magnet kept getting stolen (i work near a all night burger king and a strip club - drunk guys have no sense)

Tah - posted on 10/21/2010




geez that's alot of info..all i have on my truck is a i love my sailor magnet....and that fell of...or someone took is a lot of info i wouldn't want the world to know about my family...

Nikki - posted on 10/21/2010




I am from Australia, and I find the whole concept of school and achievement bumper stickers strange!! I have never seen one before. We have the cute cartoon family member stickers or a "I'd rather be fishing" sticker but that's about it.

[deleted account]

I find it a bit daft too, i was following a car once with three signs in the back window saying Princess Abbie on board, Princess Ellie on board and Prince Corey. Now i know her kids names all i have to do is follow her car to see which school shes going to and hey presto i know her kids names, what they look like and where they go to school. Pretty dumb if you ask me.

Becky - posted on 10/20/2010




Huh, that's a good point. I have nothing on my SUV. Dh doesn't like bumper stickers - he's anal about anything that might damage the paint job! My old car used to have a World Vision sticker in the back window, but that was it.
I wanted to put one of those family decal things in the window once we were done having kids, but now I'll reconsider!

Amie - posted on 10/20/2010




My mini van needs to be washed. Right now it has a heart drawn on the back window and I love mom and dad.

It's a minivan though, the assumption made is "kids live there".

Other than that the only thing that has ever adorned our vehicle is an "I support our troops" magnet. Which ended up freezing in the middle of winter and coming off anyway! pffttt.

I never thought about it that way, I always just found it tacky to adorn your vehicle with a bunch of stickers. That's me though.

I think, more than anything, what gives away that their are children here (besides our mini van, the neighbors mini van's etc.) is the fact that they are outside, year round. Not literally, LOL, they are just always outside with the rest of the neighborhood kids playing in their free time.

Lindsay - posted on 10/20/2010




Well I wouldn't have them on my vehicle purely because I find any type of bumper sticker or those other things to be tacky. It's just not for me. But I have always thought it to be unsafe as well. We live in a very low crime area and even here when I had my first, I remember them advising before we left the hospital not to take all of the baby item boxes to the trash at the say time. they also advised against have the balloons and welcome home baby signs. I guess that has always stuck with me. People are cautious to keep their privacy online and such but think nothing of sharing it with any nutcase living close by.

[deleted account]

Did the stickers have names? I've seen some with names. If a stranger gets your license number, name, neighborhood/ zip code (based on a school bumper sticker) what else could they get?'ve got me thinking.

My car doesn't say anything about me, except that I don't wash my car...ever!

Kate CP - posted on 10/20/2010




I think that's the reason why I don't do that to MY car, either. How easy would it be to go to the dance school and say "I'm so and so's uncle/aunt/cousin/brother and there's been a family emergency. Her dad was answering a call when the engine was struck by another car and he was thrown from the engine. Her mom and her sisters and brother are at the hospital and asked me to come get her." Sounds pretty believable...too scary for me.

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