My kids love to play video games as they sit in the back of our car while we run errands. One day, I decided that the kids needed to leave their video games at home to be more present. I wanted them to enjoy the view outside. I asked them to look for plants, birds and just everyday life. All of this in the hopes to get them engaged and thinking creatively. What I would find out is that my kids are super funny and my parenting skills would be tested.
As soon as the observation began, the kids noticed that drivers seemed to forget that other people could see inside their cars. The first thing they noticed was a driver picking her nose and eating her boogers. “Mom! Mom! Mom! That driver just ate her boogers!”, said my son. I responded by saying, “Aaugh, WHAT? Please tell me that you are trying to be funny!” My son replied, “No mom, it really happened!” I stated, “Okay, let’s look away and not make a big deal.” I wanted to laugh but I couldn’t. With a straight face I tried to change the subject by asking them to look for specific street signs.
Of course, now they were very interested in looking out the windows with eager excitement to find more wrong doings. On our trip, the kids saw people texting and driving, people falling asleep at the wheel, feet on the dashboard, and fellow drivers weaving in and out of traffic as though we were on a racetrack. We were even witness to an Angry Bird moment, yes, the flipping of the bird! The worst was a pedestrian stumbling across a crosswalk with his eyes rolling back, most likely from taking drugs. Each time they saw something out of the ordinary, there were more questions. Some of their questions were hard to answer. My response was usually, “Adults are responsible for their own actions.” Another answer I gave was, “People make mistakes all the time.” When I couldn't answer their question, like the guy on drugs, I said, “Let’s pray for him.”
That day, we had many open conversations about adults making bad decisions and being unsafe on the road. One of the biggest questions they had was regarding people driving and texting. It was clear to the kids, those drivers who texted, drove erratically and were being very unsafe. I explained to them that sometimes people break the law because they think nothing bad will happen and no one is watching.
It goes without saying, I am now happy to let the kids use their video games on our car trips. It’s less stressful for me while I avoid drivers who text. By the way, texting and driving looks just like a drunk driver behind the wheel. Please stay safe and do not text while you drive.