Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Spring Fever

Spring fever can make fools of anyone. Don't let it make a fool of you as a parent.

I was driving to the high school the other  day and passed the car wash.  I watched a father vacuuming his car, oblivious to his 4 year old daughter playing in the street gutter on Hwy 14.  I stopped at Hy Vee on the way home.  When I came out of the store I watched a family cross the parking lot.  They must have come out the wrong door.  They cut through the parked cars and across 4 lanes... in progression; father, mother,  aunt, oldest kid, middle kid and a full car lane later came the youngest, maybe age 6.  No one thought to hold his hand and not one of them looked back to see if he was okay.  It made me sad.

Please, grandparents and aunts and uncles and parents, please teach your kids three things in parking lots. First, teach them to hold hands. Second,  teach them to look at the car windows and see the steering wheel and if anyone is behind it.  Third, teach them about back up lights. While you are at it, teach them to jump stop at corners and intersections or whenever they cross the yellow line.  Teach them to look both ways before crossing a street. Then check to see if they actually do it.  Don't just turn them loose but teach, monitor,  reteach and consequence, repeat. If they can't do it on their own, don't let them.