Delaney was probably 18 months old when she started to follow me around, arms up, saying ‘hold you….Mommy, hold you?’ It took me a moment, but I realized she was imitating me…repeating what she had heard me say to her over and over again, ‘Do you want Mommy to hold you?’
After that, it was noticing the way Cooper holds his fork and stops to hold the door open for people…and the way Delaney buries her nose in a book and keeps her iPod close by for constant checking. It’s the way they play ball in the house and raise their voices when they are angry.
Small people don’t simply do as you say, they do as you do.
They pay attention, they pick up your habits, both good and bad. (the ball in the house? Shockingly, that’s my husband.)
And the older they get, the more crucial it is that your habits are ones that don’t put your kids in any danger. Like texting and driving. According to stats compiled by Texting And Driving Safety, the minimal amount of time eyes are taken off the road to read a text is 5 seconds – if you are driving 55 mph – that is equal to the length of a football field with NO EYES ON THE ROAD. Now consider this – 48% of young adults have been in a car with someone who was texting and driving.** Do you want your child to be in the car with someone who drives blind for the length of a football field? Do you want to be that driver?
Because I feel so strongly about it, I’ve partnered with AT&T to tell you about their new It Can Wait campaign. The goal of the campaign and the accompanying app, DriveMode is to convince people like you and me to stop texting while we drive and stay focused on the road.
DriveMode is free on both iOs and Android and it works seamlessly to silence incoming messages. You can set it up to turn on automatically when you drive (hitting 15mph or higher and turns off shortly after you stop) or you can turn it on manually.
AT&T customers can also customize an auto-reply that lets senders know you are driving and will get back to them soon.
Additionally, you can use #X as the new ‘shorthand’ before you get behind the wheel to let your friends and family know you’re pausing your conversations and you’ll be offline while you are driving. Demi Lovato shows how she’s using it in this quick video. Parents of young drivers can set up the app to text them if their teen turns it off.
The alternative? I can lend you my small dude. Coop would be happy to ride in your back seat and remind you to keep your hands off your phone while your driving. And honestly – he’s right – because he and his sister?
They are worth it.
In case you need some extra convincing… this video is a painful, but honest reminder of the toll text messaging has been taking on families…especially those of young adults as texting and driving is now, according to the Cohen Children’s Medical Center, the leading cause of death among teenagers – having surpassed drinking and driving. As of 2013, there were more than 3-thousand teens dying each year. And more than 50% of teens admit to texting while driving.** Maybe have them take a look at the reality of the loss…. this video or this one might be a place to start.
Make sure you are the example they need, that they know they (and you) are worth it and It Can Wait.
Thank you for being her.