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They Are Watching

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On: Tue, Oct 29, 2013 at 8:22AM | By: Karen Cook

They Are Watching

I have opinionated children. Everything from what I put on the table to which clothes they consent to wear. Children pay attention to friends, television, and parents to determine how they feel about things and how they choose to do things. Even things you don’t notice yourself are absorbed by your children and mold them into who they will be.

Driving habits are no exception. The United Kingdom recently surveyed 1000 children between the ages of four and sixteen about their parents driving habits. These are the results.

13% reported that their parents driving speed scared them and one in ten said they had grabbed the door handle or seat at one time or another in response. The same percentage revealed that they were embarrassed by their parents' driving.

63% admitted their parents shouted at other drivers. Driving with one parent in the car is considered safer by children due to the fact that both parents in the vehicle can lead to disagreements over driving skills and makes children nervous.

23% were involved in an accident while a parent was driving. 13% percent were with mom and 10% with dad. However, 80% of fathers were reported as more likely to drive aggressively and speed.

20% of the children had seen their parents make or take a phone call or text while behind the wheel.

This is not what we consciously teach our children. We want them to do what we say, not what we do. Unfortunately, this is not how they learn. Even if they don’t agree with our habits, they are likely to emulate them. When teenagers finally get a driver’s license they already believe themselves to be invincible. To repeat a tired old phrase, actions speak louder than words. They are watching. Set a good example and I promise you’ll sleep better when you watch them pull out of the driveway on their own. Provided they don’t hit the mailbox.

One more stat for you: 70% of parents surveyed in the emergency room awaiting treatment after accidents reported that their distraction was an unruly child in the backseat.


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