As parents, we would often be surprised to find out just how many of our daily behaviors have a large impact on our children. If they see us behaving in a certain way, they are usually inclined to replicate it. Of course, some things they internalize, as they’re learning from us all the time but might not be able to apply it. Of course, bad driving conduct isn’t exactly something that will be acted on in the next few hours after you display it. But hostility in the vehicle might be something internalized, and when your children start to branch out to learn on their own, these kinds of impacts you once gave and have forgotten about might start to show.
Unraveling those bad impressions would take even the best therapist to get to grips with, and even then, those results wouldn’t be guaranteed. This is why it’s best to set the highest standards for yourself you can as a driving parent, to ensure they know what is and what isn’t acceptable in the car. Driving as you would like your children to drive can be a great starting metric, but let us explore this further:
There is no small amount of idiots on the road. Even the most charitable and compassionate person would likely agree with that fact. This means that from time to time, someone might cut you up. Someone might overtake you on a corner. Someone might beep at you to go faster, despite you nearing the speed limit of the current road itself. These are just three little scenarios out of one thousand that might cause you aggravation on the road. Of course, sometimes, odd behavior on the road isn’t primarily due to someone disobeying normal driving logic. It might be that someone isn’t familiar with the area and the odd road configuration. It might be that someone simply made a mistake.
Of course, it’s all the same to you. If something happens you have to try and dodge or navigate carefully, it can feel extremely irritating. Sometimes, an issue might actually cause you to get into an argument with someone on the road, as you pull over and discuss it. One party might have bumped into another, for example. However, despite all of this, your best option is to calm yourself down as well as you can. Road rage or yelling expletives helps nothing, especially in front of your children. They might learn that this is the best way for conflict resolution. They will likely emulate that behavior, not only in the vehicle. You might be a great parent otherwise, but this heavy outburst in the car still counts as something your child views.
Listen, we get it. It’s hard to stay continually cool when driving. Even the best car accident attorney would agree. But without the ability to take ten seconds to calm down, to keep a cool head and express your frustration in a healthy way later, you are going to promote this kind of behavior to your child. Even in our most heated moments, it’s not uncommon for most people to calm down and wish they hadn’t have reacted as strongly, even though it would have made a large amount of sense at the time. If you learn this skill, you will be 80% of the way there.
Do Not Rush
There might be things that you are late for from time to time. You might be late for work, for the morning school bell, or that birthday party you said you would attend with your child. But do not rush, even if you’re late. It’s just not worth speeding, fretting, and putting yourself in harm’s way. More than simply being a bad example to your child, it can cause you a higher probability of crashing or finding yourself in a compromised situation.
Ignore the temptation to speed or rush. It will show that road safety is always more important than social awkwardness, or a quick apology you need to give.
A Clean Vehicle
Keep the interior and exterior of your vehicle as clean as you can. It’s not acceptable for your children to throw food or little in the vehicle, or is it acceptable for you to do the same. If you try to ask them to keep their room clean but your vehicle is extremely dirty or continually covered in internal rubbish, you can expect your lessons to have little impact.
With these tips, setting the standards as a driving parent is sure to be worthwhile.