Most of us would never do anything to directly endanger our children. As a matter of fact, most of my closest friends are paranoid moms who actively look for things that might harm their precious offspring and then actively avoid those things. We can agree on some of the hazards. Most of us avoid exposing our children to secondhand smoke, ensure that they don’t ride with drunk drivers, hold their hands when they’re little and we’re crossing the street or discuss the dangers of drugs and sexual temptation when they’re older.
Since our children largely learn by example, they are going to look to us for guidance in all areas of their lives – whether we realize it or not. For this reason, it amazes me how many of my friends are completely paranoid about what might be in vaccinations or how much candy their child eats, but they don’t hesitate to text while driving.
When you text and drive, you are directly endangering not only your life and the lives of those around you, but you are endangering the lives of your children. Texting while driving makes a driver 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash. But that’s just a statistic. Think about it this way instead.
If you text and drive, you are 23 times more likely to be in an accident that could harm your child and you are making the choice to do that.
Second, every time you text while driving, no matter how many times you TELL your child that you shouldn’t do it, you are SHOWING your child that it is ok. When that child begins driving, he or she is going to live by your example. Consider these statistics:
- Texting while driving kills 11 teens each day.
- 21% of teens involved in fatal car crashes were reported to be distracted by cell phones.
- One fourth of teens respond to at least one text message every time they drive.
As a texting while driving teen, if your child makes it to adulthood, he or she will most likely continue to text while driving as an adult. At that point, you not only risk losing your own child, but future grandchildren as well.
When people contemplate texting while driving, I wonder why they don’t think about these children they love so much. They buy organic milk, grow their own vegetables, seek alternative forms of medicine and live “naturally,” yet they put their lives at risk every day by texting while driving.
The next time you’re tempted to answer that text or send a message that seems so important, train yourself to think about how that choice could affect your child. I don’t care what the message is about, nothing is that important. Really. It isn’t.
Well, except maybe the life of your child.