on the Camry that Sheila used to drive. The car goes to Courtney in a
couple of weeks. As I sit here and ponder the thought that Courtney,
my oldest daughter is beginning to drive, what could be going through
the mind of a teenager in this era of super technology. Facebook,
Myspace, Blogging, Texting...whatever it is; are kids doing this while
driving? I have researched many publicized events in which teenagers
texting while driving causes much grief for family and friends. If
Nancy Grace ever gets a hold of it, never mind the family grief, but
drag the entire continent through the grief as well. The likes of
Oprah, local TV, 60 Minutes and many other outlets have explored the
texting and driving phenomenon. The reason I sat down to write this
blog was not driven politically, out of frustration with rules, or any
other reason other than just simple love for my girls. Don't get me
wrong, the texting and driving laws should be an effective way to
deduce the likelihood of a catastrophe, but is texting all that kids
do? What about rushing to school? What about eating breakfast? What
about friends in a car? What about a bad day at school which pro-
generates homeward bound frustration? What about the iPod connection
failing? What about the assignment they missed and all they could
think about was just finishing it and not the red light they just ran?
What about the billboard marketing a new Disney movie that they just
had to go and see? What about the wind that blows so hard it jostled
the car? What about the accident they just got in because......?
There are many questions that any normal parent would think the moment
their own child takes the keys to the car. You can only hope that you
don't get a call from authorities asking you to come and identify your
child's body in a debris field caused by an accident that occured with
them in it.
Some simple steps to help avoid a mishap can simply start with wide
open communication. Know what your child does. Know what their intent
is when they go somewhere. Know what their destination will be. Know
who their friends are and who they hang out with. Know their frame of
mind prior to them leaving. Triggering on Rushing is a trademark item
that I teach as a result of Safestart, but do kids do it? Are they
under tremendous amount of pressure? Yes! Have frequent discussions
with your child to better understand their frame of mind. You can
only hope that it won't be your last conversation.
In exactly two weeks Courtney takes the keys to the old family Camry.
She will be 16....where did the time go? With all my will, I have to
restrain fear and hope that Sheila and I have done a good enough job
for Courtney to think on her own. I think a tall tale sign is when
she constantly points out my distractions while I drive myself. It
sounds funny. But seriously, I get a bit defensive, but I know she is
absolutely right! So I just (mostly) bow my head and say alright,
alright. But she has been able to communicate like this because we do
it with her, but it is only fair that we behave as we want our kids to
behave, because the last thing we want is to have our kids peer
through the windshield and the last thing they see is a debris field.
I love you Courtney! Please take the wheel to your car and know that
your mom, sister and I love you and always want you to return home
safely just as you left it.