Being a parent is a lifelong job and if you are a parent you can’t help but worry. I thought when my child started walking, I wouldn’t have to lift him anymore. Then when he started to read books, I won’t have to reread the same stories every night through my yawns. When he started going to school, I thought now I will have free time for myself but if you are a parent you will empathise and realise it never stops. The worrying, the issues crop at every age and while they may change you are never off the leash.
My elder one is 13-years-old now and no I am not discussing his teenage tantrums in this post but the other reality, that is tuitions and hobby classes. He has to travel multiple places for his classes and initially, I would drive him around and hang around in a cafe for his classes to get over but soon I realised it wasn’t a permanent solution as I couldn’t leave my work or my little one alone each time. So now we have a chauffeur driven car in which he travels but as parents we are constantly in the fear of our Teen Car safety.
Has the driver reached him in time?
Has he not taken the car for a ride for personal work?
Hope he doesn’t get stuck in the traffic for too long.
And many such concerns still linger on. As a teen, he wants to go out with his friends by himself unescorted and while I understand his need for independence, I would like to be clued in to his whereabouts without being intrusive.
According to a recent survey, parent’s top concerns are around driving safety and risk of sexual assault by a driver. Yes, while we do our homework when hiring a driver, it is still a lingering concern in my mind as a parent. You might think and it’s an Indian mentality that if I have boys I have no reason to worry but if you look at surveys, boys are equally prone to sexual assault as are girls.
If I am not around, the driver might tend to speed the car and kids don’t mind it or don’t even tell the driver to slow down the car. Honestly, they are in their own world and couldn’t care less or are inhibited to tell them.
We also read so many kidnapping cases and you might think I am an over worrying parent but I like to be cautious and believe in safety over mulling later on a situation gone wrong.
Worrying for your Teen’s car safety doesn’t solve anything so I have been researching and thinking what can we do as parents to solve this? Here are some things we are doing already:
**We have given him a mobile phone which he carries to his tuitions now and we can check with him when he leaves or reaches the tuition. He also uses this to contact the driver. But the downside here is that he owns a mobile phone at a very young age.
** We have talked to him about risks involved and a strategy for situations that can go wrong. For eg. If the driver gets late, he should not wander off to look for him but call us and wait in his class. An SOS cryptic message to tell us on a call, which no one else could decipher but we know that something is wrong.
** We are toying with the idea of installing a car security camera to reduce the ambiguity of what happens inside the car. I have realised that cameras that work best are the ones which have a real-time display so that I am clued in to the exact location of my elder one. Also, send me time to time alerts of his whereabouts which will help me track if he or the car goes to a different location than what he was supposed to.
Safety over everything when it comes to our kids! Do you also have anxiety when your kids travel on their own in a chauffeur driven car or are you a parent who never leaves your kids alone? Have you taken any action to sort this out?
We would love to hear your thoughts and solutions to this.