Kids Can Remind Parents Not to Text and Drive

Last week, I advised parents about ways to monitor their child's and teen's texting activities. But since then kids and teens have texted me that they need help convincing their parents to stop texting while driving . Well, as a "tweet"-iatrician, let me talk directly to kids this week and share some tips that may help – even though parents know they should not be doing this when they are behind the wheel.

First, rather than telling your parent to stop texting while in the car, pick a time to have a serious, sit-down heart-to-heart talk when a parent cannot rush away to something else – and isn't driving. Tell your parent you need their full attention and don't want to be interrupted. 

Speak calmly and kindly, saying how sad and scared you feel that despite your reminders in the car, you are being ignored. And as a result you are afraid for your safety and that of your parent and anyone else who is riding with you.

You should tell your parent you love them too much to lose them in an accident due to their texting. Tell your parent that your friends have noticed it too, and if their parents knew you were doing this, your friends would not be allowed to ride with you. 

You can say that texting and driving is the same as drinking and driving when it comes to your safety and everyone else’s in the vehicle. Share information you’ve read, watched  or heard about on the news regarding the dangers of texting.

Finally, remind your parent they are your role model, and you are counting on them to set a good example. As they should know, texting while driving is not the way to do that.

If talking to your parent does not do the trick, try writing a letter to your parent or asking another adult to speak on your behalf. And if that doesn’t work, start trying to get places via friends whose parents don’t text when driving. 

Hopefully tips like this will drive home the importance to a parent of not texting while driving so that the entire family is safer when a parent is at the wheel.