May 17, 2013

Backseat driver

Recently, I wrote a post about avoiding technology to promote communication in my family. I often correlate using technology to time spent at home, but in reality that’s not always the case. A friend recently sent me a survey from U.S. News & World Report, noting that many parents admit to being distracted while driving their kids.  Possible distractions included: phone calls, texting, surfing the Web, grooming, eating, attending to their child, using a navigation system or map, and engaging with their vehicle’s entertainment system.

When I initially read the survey, I was judgmental. Aren’t most of these distractions against the law anyway? But as much as I hate to admit it, I’m guilty of partaking in most, if not all of these distractions.

Just the other day my daughter shouted from the backseat, “slow down Mommy!” I was horrified. Did my two-year old really just call me out? Sure, I probably pushed down the gas pedal a little too hard as I was reaching back to pacify her crying brother. Or maybe I was trying to silence the phone as her Daddy was calling about dinner plans?

What it comes down to is realizing our primary role when driving our children should be exactly that…just driving!

From now on I’ll put my phone in my purse and put it in the backseat to avoid distractions. I’ll start to trust my instinct and know that unless my kids are in severe distress, their needs can be taken care of once we’re at a stop light or safely at home. What are some of your suggestions to promote safe driving?

Parenthood…may our eyes always be on the road!

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