I get a lot of crap from people about the safety rules at our house. Apparently we’re a little strict.
Probably our most prominent safety rules have to do with driving. For example, I don’t use my cellphone when I drive. I just don’t.
I’m that person who waits ’till she gets where she’s going, then parks and checks the phone. Or, I’m the person who puts on her blinker, pulls over to the side of the road, and then returns the call.
If someone else is in the car with me, I ask them to answer the phone for me. My kids even know to say, ‘Hi my mom’s driving so I’m answering her phone. May I help you?” My friends and family (usually the only folks who call me on my cell vs. at my office) don’t seem all that annoyed to have to wait a few minutes for me to call them back.
With our own au pairs, I’ve been pretty much of a hard ass about texting, talking on or using the cell phone in any way when our au pairs drive — either for their personal use or with the kids. If our au pairs use the cell phone when they are driving, they lose the privilege of having the car for personal use. That’s just how it is.
Parents should be safety role models
Using a hand-held cell phone is illegal in my state (of New Jersey). But I see moms and dads using their cell phones as they drive, all the time. All over town.
I wonder what kind of role model they are being for their children, their friends, and maybe even their kids’ caregivers.
My colleague Dan tipped me off to the video, below, as a great example of ’cause marketing‘… and I think it is also a great example of why safety rules matter. Watch it and see why– it’s only 30 seconds.
We Parents Know Better
Once upon a time, wearing seat belts was the crazy thing we learned to require of ourselves, our kids and our au pairs. We did it to keep ourselves and others safe. It took a while for some au pairs to get adjusted to this rule, and I’m sure a few grumbled about it, but they ultimately made it a habit. Now, using safety belts is required by law.
The new behavior we need to adopt to keep us safe is to NOT use cell phones when we drive. Period. Sure, it’s more convenient just to answer the phone– why bother even pulling over? It will only take a second. Right.
Behind every safety rule, no matter how annoying or inconvenient, is the same principle:
We follow these rules because life is precious.
Want Safe Driving? Forbid your Au Pair to use the cellphone in the car. Period.
Using Your Car is a Privilege, not an Entitlement: Best practices
After the Car Accident: Advice on what to talk about with your Au Pair