Shane Hobbs is the owner of Dalworth Rug Cleaning, a Dallas based textile cleaning company. The business was founded in 1976 and has evolved through the years to provide comprehensive cleaning services such as Oriental rug cleaning, preservation, repairs, wrapping, and storage.
We love our children, even when they graduate out of those tender toddler years into the trying teen time. After all, they’re still our sweet little children, just in bigger and sometimes angst-riddled packages. And yes, at some point those angels of ours get behind the wheel of the family car and take off down the road—alone. If you are like most parents, you’ve recognized the irony of presenting a driver’s license to those in the throes of a raging storm of hormones but that seems to be a culmination of common wisdom. Then throw in the distractions of cellphones and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. What’s a concerned parent to do? Take a look at a few pointers to help keep not only your teen safe but everyone else who shares the road with them.
- There’s an App for That: Yes, it might seem a bit contradictory; here you are trying to prevent your teen from using their mobile device while driving, so how does their cellphone prevent them from using it? Simple, the app ‘Textecution’ can monitor the speed of your child’s car and once it reaches speeds of ten miles per hour it automatically disables all texting functions. It isn’t cheap, but then again, the life and safety of your child has no price tag big enough to cover. This app will force them to safely pull over and stop before they can be actually use texting. Not a bad idea for all of us, really.
- Lead by example: Be honest, do you still crane your neck down to check out who sent that quick text. Even having your eyes off the road for a second can be a deadly decision, regardless of your age and driving experience, and we should all know better. More and more states are ticketing dangerous driving habits like cellphone use. About 6,000 deaths per year are attributed to those of distracted drivers. If those statistics are not frightening enough to cause you a moment of pause before answering that cellphone, then think about this; your teen will NEVER let you live down getting pulled over for a texting violation.
- Reward Good Behavior: That’s right. This can be a system that you and your teen work out together. Try every month or so that a teen not only keeps up good grades, but doesn’t reach for their phone the minute the key starts the ignition in their car. You can be that sneaky parent who calls when they are driving to see if they answer and when they call you back annoyed that you keep calling them, you can simply thank them for being a safe and defensive driver and then plan a little something to reinforce good choices. Maybe a couple of movie tickets, a lunch out with just the two of you, or cash is a good and common currency among all teens. The lesson; catch them doing something good and then pour on the accolades. They may not outright thank you now, but maybe someday down the road they will recognize all you did for them. Of course, make that a really long time from now. No matter, keep the lines of communication open as much as you can.
At the end of the day, we all want our kids safe and enjoying those fleeting years of high school to become productive members of society. Keeping their texting to a minimum will increase the chances that they will give you that big hug on graduation day.
Now if only there was an app that could shut down how they question every rule in your household!