I enjoyed Jen Hatchmaker's recent article, "What Would
My Mom Do? (Lock Us Outside and Drink Tab)." Jen's trying to be the cheerleader to all of us parents and
and persuade us to stop being so incredibly neurotic. She implores us to bring
the joy back to being a parent.
When talking about the upcoming summer and her five children, and wondering what to do with their schedules, I have to ask, what would my mom do?
She talks about how her mom would make them bologna
sandwiches and just tell them to go outside and play.
There's nothing more that I would love for my own
children than to just let me go outside and play.
I know my children, especially my 8-year-old, is frustrated
with his lack of independence. It's not because I do not want to give it to him.
I would love
for my child to walk around our neighborhood with friends. Unfortunately, I
live in Los Angeles, the hit and run capitol of the U.S. Here we are with
this perfect year-round weather and, yet, in this humongous city, it's incredibly
hard to find a place for my children to go on walks.
My own neighborhood lacks sidewalks. It's an older community and sidewalks, apparently, do not pair with its "rural appeal," despite being 10
minutes from downtown Los Angeles.
So you don't see kids walking around.
When we went to
the nearby public school, we walked there. But a lot of other moms, who could've
walked, chose not to because it was too dangerous. Other people, some of them—no, a lot of them—parents, speeding by.
I whole- heartedly agree to letting our children explore, but I do not want to lead my child into a world where the No. 1 cause of death to them is preventable—yet I am not doing anything to prevent it.
A large number of them? Yes. And distracted by texting or making phone calls or, generally, giving their attention to a little screen rather than what's on the other side of the big windshield in front of their faces.
Did you know that
around 110 Americans die every day due to car crashes?
Car crashes are the leading cause of death to our young. Here's the kicker: most car crashes are preventable.
I urge you to take part in April's distracted driving month activities. In other words, drive without touching your phone. Drive without even being on a hands-free device.
Did you know that hands free is not safe? I repeat, hands-free is not
If you think it's impossible to go without talking or texting while driving, I want you to think about how impossible it seems to lose your child.
Texting and driving receives the most amount of media in regards to distracted driving, but it's not the only form of distracted driving.
It's a slow guerrilla movement, but it's worth your time.
There is also excessive speeding,
tailgating and/or anything that takes our minds off the road.
I whole- heartedly agree to letting our children explore, but
I do not want to lead my child into a world where the No. 1 cause of
death to them is preventable—yet I am not doing anything to
There are hand full of moms and dads that I have gotten to
know from my own motor safety advocacy who have lost their children.