My seminar, Keeping Your Child Safe, is always a sell out. No surprise there. What could be more important than doing everything within a parent’s control to keep her child safe? In the seminar I address the things parents must know about a child’s safety — what the real dangers are “out there,” the parent’s role, what a parent must teach her child. I teach what children need to be taught about keeping themselves safe, too. What I can’t teach, however, is common sense.
Unfortuantely, it is true that we live in a world that is fraught with dangers of all kinds. But many of these dangers have been around for a long time. People have been doing bad things to kids, for example, since the cavemen times. Bad things have always happened. What is different today is, first of all, there are so many more ways to be unsafe, and second, our awareness of what is happening. Technology has enabled news of all kinds, including really bad stuff, to travel lightning fast into our homes to fuel our fears. We handle those fears by doing the best we can, that includes using common sense.
It is not only a parent’s job, it is her obligation to educate herself and her children in reasonable and appropriate ways about keeping themselves safe. You are your child’s first teacher about safety. Your child who is watching you all the time learns his lessons about what we do as adults to be safe: we buckle our seat belts; we wash our hands after we pee; we look both ways before crossing. You know the drill.
But here’s what I just don’t get. What the heck are you thinking when you are texting, reading emails, even just dialing the phone while you are driving?
On my way to Paso Robles this weekend, I was behind a woman whose head was down as she drove. When I pulled up beside her I saw that she was texting. For real! Are you kidding?
This is the same woman who uses her foot to flush the toilet. No way she is going to get potty germs. But she will tempt fate by using her Blackberry while she drives. Are you kidding?
This is the same parent who asks the playdate’s mother if the the family keeps guns in the house. But she texts while she is driving up the windy coastal road of Route #1. Are you kidding?
This is the same mother who doesn’t allow a non organic vegetable in the home. No pesticides for her children. But she takes her eyes off the road to look at her Blackberry. You have got to be kidding!
The world is a more dangerous place than ever..for kids and for you and me…because of all those people who are crazy enough to take their eyes off the road while they use their Blackberries.
Safety is for everyone, not just for your kids. There is so much you can control. Don’t tempt the gods. Don’t model bad choices. Keep the Blackberry in your purse. And go ahead and flush with you hand. You can always wash with soap.