Monday, September 9, 2013

Kids and Cars and Tickets, Oh My!

Children must be secured in car seats. You should not leave a child unattended in a vehicle. No texting while driving. There are many laws and common sense rules about taking care of our children when in a vehicle, but what do you do when the kids choose to disobey the laws or disregard the rules? Well, thanks to the "Click it or Ticket" campaign, I have a solution.

The kiddo is well aware of "Click it or Ticket", and sometimes chants the phrase as she buckles up. When she isn't so inclined, I remind her of the law, and tell her that if she's not buckled up, she might get a ticket. Then I start moving the car, and she shrieks and buckles up. The first time I tried this, she informed me that she couldn't get a ticket, because she didn't have any money. I reminded her that she had birthday money, and toys I could sell if necessary. Boy, did that do the trick.

The same thing works when she doesn't want to get out of the car to accompany me on an errand. I remind her that it's not safe for her to stay in the car by herself, and that she could get in trouble. Of course, in my paranoid mommy brain, I imagine a totally different type of "trouble" than she does, in the form of some sick pervo, but I don't have to say that to get her moving. Again, the threat of having to pay a ticket works like a charm.

As for the texting? The kiddo doesn't text, but she's always after me to text her friends' parents to set up immediate play dates. The no-texting-while-driving law works well for getting me off the hook, especially since I tell her that if I get stopped for texting someone to set up a play date, she will get the ticket. And no play date.

Mean? Heck yeah. Dishonest? Sure, like Santa or the Tooth Fairy. Clever? Well, it has worked so far. Maybe a combo of the three. Safety is priority #1, but getting the kiddo to cooperate without a fight is a really close second.  By the time she figures out that I would ultimately be responsible if I were pulled over, I'm hoping that she will be used to these safety practices.

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