With four kids in the house who are all approaching or newly driving we have been focusing on teaching them how to be good drivers. And they are. They walk all the way around the car before getting in to make sure there is nothing behind the car before pulling out. They put on their seatbelts. They do not text and drive. They come to a complete stop at the stop sign (something I have to remind myself to do on occasion). Overall, they are excellent drivers.
The only thing is that they are not the only ones out there on the road. Pretty much every time we get in the car my husband drills it into their heads “Watch out for the crazy drivers”. You may be driving along following the rules of the road and minding your own business when some idiot ahead of you falls asleep behind the wheel or decides that it is ok to drive home after that holiday party even though they lost count of just exactly how many drinks they had.
This last weekend we had a little run in with a couple of Crazy Drivers on the Information Super Highway.
For the past 15 plus years our family has been growing up with the Internet along with Parry Aftab, the worlds leading Internet safety expert, at hand to help guide us through some of the interesting and unexpected challenges that have presented themselves along the way. The Internet really just became part of everyone’s world when my kids were very little. And so we basically learned how to drive this highway together.
This last week there were two different cases where my kids pointed out some “crazy drivers”.
VIDEO GAMES and Under age drivers
Tuesday November 8 was not only election day but it was also the midnight release party for Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. This is an M rated game and it is pretty violent. It was designed by grown up gamers for a mature audience who like to play this kind of game. It is a game that can be played online with other players around the world. My 20 year old went to this midnight release ( which as we mentioned before was on a Tuesday which is a school night anyway ) and there were some very young kids waiting to buy the game. This was discouraging to my son whose first thought was for himself – the game is way more fun when you can play it as intended and you don’t have to worry about hurting some 11 year olds feelings who is playing the game but really shouldn’t be. And then he thought to himself ‘Wait a minute. It’s a school night and I would have never gotten away with this when I was 11′.
CELL PHONES and the new driver
Giving your teen a cell phone is a big point of discussion that goes on with Wired Moms all the time. It is a great tool but it is also really easy for even a good kid to run into trouble in a blink of an eye. A video can be recorded and uploaded to the Internet before anyone really even thinks about whether or not that was a good idea. Pictures can be forwarded and then get passed along like wild fire. One weak moment with a bad decision could result in months of agony.
This last weekend we encountered a person who is new to the cell phone texting world and sent way too many text messages to one of our family member’s phones. We didn’t think too much of this because we figured we could just block that incoming number. But apparently, that is now a premium service with our phone company which they will gladly provide for an additional charge. In my next post you will get to read the back story and hopefully the resolution to this one.
Technology is changing. Parenting is not. We still have to watch out for our kids and keep an eye out for all those crazy drivers.