Friday, October 9, 2009

Children, Roos, Seatbelts and Windscreens

Setting the scene

8.00am, dropping teenage daughter off at bus-stop because I am passing. I’m not normally so nice. It’s only 800m!

There is a ‘dog-leg’ in the road, and often as you approach or come out of the ‘dog-leg’ there can be roos, jumping over the fences, generally getting in the way – It doesn’t matter what speed you do – It ALWAYS happens.

As we approach the corner – I notice that my daughter is not wearing her seatbelt – I thought I had drummed into my children, get into car, close door, put seatbelt on; in that order. They are now old enough that I shouldn’t have to check. I commented to her “Are you comfortable?” – She replies “Yeah”

I touch the brakes, a light tap, she head-butts the windscreen. The abuse starts. By this time we are at the bus stop. I stop car, she gets out and then the REAL conversation starts via SMS.

Daughter – Thanks a lot now my head I pounding n I feel really dizzy I hope your happy with yourself
Reply – Failure 2 wear ur seatbelt is $180 fine and points off your license. Even as passenger. Besides that I thought I’d always taught you – get in car put seatbelt on
Daughter – wells that’s a great reason to attempt to put my head through the windscreen
Reply – No. That’s the whole point. I want you alive
Daughter – So u smash my head against the wind shield and have no thought that it will actually hurt
Reply – Personal Responsibility! What’s difference between my car and yours? You drive yours. Wear your belt 100% of the time or prepare to die. Who will you blame then?
No further reference has ever been made to this conversation – but I notice now that she always puts her seatbelt on.

So a Win? A Life Lesson?

I can only hope it is enough of lesson to teach her – no matter how short the distance, you can die 400m from home.

**All names have been changed to protect the guilty

**All texts are presented as sent

**Any spelling mistakes are the fault of modern day TXT speech!


  1. Even though this is such a serious issue, you had me laughing at the conversation. I coul totally picture it. Often times best ways to teach is in pratice. I can see my daughter at 10 is nothing compared to what I'm going to get in teens, god help me. Bern

  2. What a refreshing post! Spot on. There's a real strong point behind that story. I'm loving your tactics ;-) Just had a little look around your blog. You write really well - I'll be back ;-) Sam @sammutimer

  3. Bern and Sam - sorry for the time between your posting and my response.
    Yes, it is funny - but as Sam points out it is a very serious issue - Kids today seem to think that life is like a video game - you get another chance.
    As my last TXT pointed out - "Who will you blame then?"
    Kids (and some adults) always think someone else is at fault - They fail to look past their own nose!
    Thank-you for the kind words

  4. Definitely a life lesson & hopefully one well learnt.

  5. Exactly what I would have done to my daughter too - only I would have been yelling right after it happened.

  6. Jon - yelling doesn't work with my kids. You need the 'other' penalties to enforce things.

    yelling only causes tempers to become inflamed, we have found the silent quiet treatment far more effective.

    This post was made in 2009, My daughter has not lost one point, nor traffic infringements, I would like to think that our handling of driving matters has assisted in this.