People get so bored hearing the same warning over and over again that they ignore it, and then some of them die.
Take the admonition not to text while driving. We’ve all gotten that message a thousand times or more, and, unfortunately, so has your teen. When Tammie hears it for the 1,001st time, then, she might think, “Yeah right, whatever,” while she continues to text her best friend about the hottest guy in her class while traveling down the freeway at 60 mph.
That might be the last mistake she ever makes.
Here’s how to help prevent a senseless tragedy. Don’t just spend 30 seconds telling your children to avoid texting and driving. Instead, actually engage in a sit-down discussion about operating a phone while in the car just like you did regarding sex. You had the birds-and-the-bees talk, didn’t you?
In any case, here are four tips to help you guide the discussion, about distracted driving, that is.
- Don’t you text while driving. Hypocrisy isn’t very persuasive. After all, if your teen sees you hitting the keys while operating the car, she’ll likely to follow your not-so-good example.
- Talk to your teen about the consequences of texting while driving and point out that it may be as dangerous as cruising while drunk. Your kid probably knows someone who’s been hurt in an auto accident.
- Discuss that incident. This will allow your teen to understand that she’s really not invulnerable.
- Enforce a rule stating that all cellphones must be out of reach of the driver. Your kid can place hers in the glove compartment, for example.
- Go with the old standby, reward your child when she avoids texting while driving and punish her if she insists on pounding those keys.
Help your children understand the importance of keeping their hands off their phones when their fingers grasp the wheel, and they just might live long enough to deliver the same message to their kids decades down the road.