This compensated post is one in a summer long series sponsored by AT&T. I am honored to join AT&T as an It Can Wait Advocate and hope this campaign will play a pivotal role in your home not only with your teens but as responsible adult drivers as well.
Back to school season is here to stay and like most busy Moms, in these first few weeks of getting used to our new schedules, I am confident more than less of what I say to my children are directives about time. Getting ready in the morning. Getting out the door and out to school on time. Transitioning home in the afternoon. Helping with homework. Navigating activities, dinner, and then working through bedtime as peacefully as we can. And if I’m not careful, they will only hear that they need to hurry through their days, doing more than one thing at a time, not focusing on the hear and now. Not living in the moment.
Our children are in busy stages of each of their lives. From older elementary to senior year in high school, they are making their way in the world, spreading their wings, becoming the people they are meant to be. Teaching them to be people of character, to be honest, caring, kind, thoughtful, loving, and responsible are interwoven into all we do as parents. Teaching them to be safe matters just as much. As we get back to school and start what we all hope will be a wonderful year, I’m reminded yet again how incredibly important it is that we take time to talk them about how they can keep themselves safe. To know that while at school, they are safe and how they will be protected if need be. That we will be there when they need us. Reassure them that while away from us, they have the skills they need to navigate any situation that may arise. And that when they are personally faced with making a choice on their own, that we have faith in them that they will make the choices that are best for their personal safety. And the reality is, choosing not to text and drive has become as important a conversation as not to take drugs, drink, have sex, or make other personal choices that will forever change lives.
I am so proud to serve as an AT&T as an It Can Wait Advocate. The campaign goal is to share the message that when it comes to texting and driving, there is simply no question, It Can Wait. Earlier this month, AT&T released a new documentary that tells the story of texting and driving from every point of view. A child who one minutes was crossing the street holding hands with his sister and the next minute his body was ripped from her hand paralyzed from the diaphragm down. A young father whose last text was “I love you.” to his expecting wife and mother to their toddler and in doing so, he took the lives of an Amish family and the children they were caring for. An adult woman who survived her accident but can’t remember what occurred, function independently or return to her life as she was known before. A young man whose grief will forever have him reminded that his choice to text and drive was the most selfish choice he’s ever made because in doing so, he claimed the lives of two other people and forever destroyed their families. Because he had to text right then.
Gather your children and watch this together. Its 35 minutes long. Not graphic in its imagery, its gut wrenching in its honesty. No one portrayed ever saw these events coming. Not the victim or the person who caused the life alterning, and life taking, accidents. Watch this video as much for yourself as for your kids. We both know we set an example with every choice we make. Your elementary children will mirror your choices, never knowing that texting and driving kills because they’ve seen you do it every single day. Your middle children may act like they don’t care. Which is fine. Whatever. Sit and watch. And your high school children will know that there are consequences. This public service campaign is EVERYWHERE. Its working. Its nothing they can say they haven’t heard about in some measure before.
Educating our children at back to school about safety is our job as their parents. To make sure safety conversations of all kinds aren’t a one and done. That they are ongoing not in a nagging way but in a “Hey lets take a few minutes and check in on the latest “It Can Wait” Campaign news. Have you talked about it this fall at school?” Its making sure that when they go out the door, you also say I love you, give them a hug, confirm when they will be home, ask them to text you when they arrive where they are going or just as they leave so that you can know when they are on the road. And give them tools to make sure they can follow through. ItCanWait.com is FULL of fabulous resources to make it possible for your children to resist
How do you tackle touch conversations about safety as your children go back to school?
Stop by the AT&T It Can Wait Campaign site and take the pledge today to not text and drive. Then have your kids take that same pledge. Lead by example and remember that change starts with you. Thanks so much for stopping by ~