By Rosie Preston
As I was recently teaching my 15-year old granddaughter to drive, another driver close by was not following the traffic laws. I am proud that granddaughter is a good driver and knows all the laws, but I must constantly remind her about driving defensively to protect herself. She is very aware of the drivers who do not care if they race to beat a caution light before it turns red and cannot believe how many people do not use their blinkers or tailgate so closely.
My advice is to wait to make sure all the cars who now have a red light have stopped. The next warning is to not trust someone’s turning signal in any situation, because some people either don’t have them or don’t turn them off. As for the drivers out there tailgating, shame on you for driving a vehicle so carelessly. Driving a car is much like holding a loaded gun. Reckless driving is a No. 1 killer, simply because a vehicle weighs several hundreds or thousands of pounds and strikes you much like a tremendous size bullet.
My granddaughter recently obtained her driver’s permit. She says that we don’t trust her to drive enough; however, we are carefully choosing the streets which have less traffic. I taught my own children how to drive by taking advantage of empty parking lots around town. This gave them a chance to drive in circle, perform figure eights, sway back in forth, park and drive in reverse. It taught them to get the feel of the car. The first time my granddaughter drove on a public street, she was surprised of the speed of slowing down or stopping a car. She agreed it was an important lesson!
My granddaughter experienced many situations in her life in which she learned that she could not trust people. That causes a child to grow up quickly. Day care or school has as much influence on a child as a parent or parents do, because a child is at day care or school for many hours during a day. It is very important that a parent trust the day care or persons taking care of their child. You want your child to be a sociable person who likes everyone around them, whether it be in school, on a job or at home.
There are several lessons my grandmother taught me. She warned me not to be alone while riding my bicycle or walking to her house, which was just up the street. She said not to trust a stranger and never accept money from anyone. She kept me close to her when we went shopping or out to eat. I knew I could trust my grandparents and my parents during those younger years. This trust was very important, and as I got older, I automatically trusted teachers, my friends’ parents, people who went to church regularly and neighbors who seemed nice. At this age, it also includes aids, nurses, doctors, CEO’S of companies and any person in authority.
But there is a sad lesson to be learned.
Along the way through my own personal experiences, I was astonished at the people I thought I could trust who have let me down so many times by their words or actions. So how do I go about teaching my granddaughter and the younger great-grandchildren to be very careful? Their ages range from seven years old to seven weeks old. It is the parents who must protect their children. For your children to trust you, they need to know that they can tell you anything. They need to be able to tell you if someone touches them inappropriately or spanks them too hard. My family is not against spanking a child, especially when it concerns that child learning the meaning of “no.”
A good example is the time our family lived in a large neighborhood that did not have much traffic. My son was riding his Big Wheel as I sat on the porch. He soon did something he had not done before in riding too fast to the street. An oncoming car was getting closer to him. I yelled, “STOP!” as loud as I could, and he stopped.
Children have no fear because they do not realize that an accident can be fatal. With that being said, I must add that a perfect parent does not exist. We all make our mistakes. Even if we’ve done everything, we can to raise a child the way we think we should, they are influenced by persons outside our home from a very young age. Sometimes when a child we love dearly has chosen a path different than we could have imagined, my advice would be do not blame yourself, as they will grow to an age where they will have to choose between the paths of good and evil.
When parents have loved their children and the children know they can trust their parents, that is very important. A child should be taught about our God who created all living things and loves them. When you look into the sky and you have learned so much about the age of our planet and the planets that revolve around this world, it is amazing to know that the same God created a universe we cannot see that is thousands of years away.
We witness the moon and the sun on a daily basis and know they exist. Eventually, our children’s lives change as they grow to into adulthood. Hopefully they will be blessed at an early age and be comforted against any obstacles they may face. They no longer have that umbrella of the first kind of love a good parent had for them as children, but hopefully they will believe they can trust that God will always be there to give them comfort, determination and willpower so they will never be alone.
Keep Smiling, Rosie
Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.