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Friday, March 15, 2013

Car Accidents -- Number One Killer of Teenagers

Car Accidents - Waiting to Happen

When I first saw the headlines about an increase in deaths of teenagers by car accidents, my first reaction was to feel relieved that all my children are now adults.  However, within seconds, it dawned on me that I have grandchildren that are now teenagers.  Plus I also have friends that have teenage children.  So the problem and concern never becomes someone else’s problem.  All the laws in the country will not solved the problem, until the parents get more involved with their children.

Sadly enough it’s not in the teenage aged children that parents have to get involved in.  The parental responsibility, and more importantly loving and nurturing time needs to be spent in the early development years.  I often hear young adults with pre-school aged children; complain about how they have a right to their own happiness.  Cover your ears if you don’t want to hear it (cover your eyes in this case); Once you have children your only right is the one that you have to be responsible for your little ones’ happiness, and well-being, until the end.

When my wife and I first got married, we use to travel from the Northwest to Reno twice every year by car.  We enjoyed the time on the road together and time we spent being care free while in Reno. After our first child arrived we stopped making the trip. We became dedicated to their happiness, care, and health.  After our babies got old enough to enjoy Theme Parks we made the trip almost yearly to Southern California (Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios, The wax museum, SeaWorld, and Six Flags to name a few).  It really got to where I was tired of the parks because I knew what to expect, but my babies still loved their vacations so we kept it going for them.

When they got old enough to get bicycles, I spent a good chunk of money expanding our patio so they could ride within the safety of their own backyard.  Our home at that time had previously been a strawberry field, so room was not a problem.  You could definitely say that I was over protective, but with that protective attitude comes the commitment to be there for them whenever needed.

I’ll never forget the time my 5th grade son ran for Class President, and I spent a lot of time making posters for him, and working on his campaign message.  As we neared Election Day (two days out) my little boy came home all disappointed, and he broke the news to me: Dad I’m afraid we just lost the election!  I couldn’t figure out how he came to that conclusion two days out.  He said dad my opponent is telling the students that if they vote for him, he will bring cookies for every one the day after the election.

It took me but a split second to re-align the campaign to a winning strategy!  I said son start spreading the word that if you win, your campaign will provide pizza and juice for everyone in your class. He won by a landslide.  That is the kind of involvement that my children always could depend on from their mom and dad (not the buying of elections for them, but of being there for them when they thought they were hitting the wall).  Even after my babies became responsible and successful adults and parents, they’ve always known that they could come back to us for support. Once again I digress form the subject at hand.

We are never going to be free of the responsibility for the youth in our society, because we all continue to contribute, whether it is as parents, grandparents, uncles, nieces, even just as neighbors.  I can’t imagine not caring about the teenagers in my neighborhood.  Another bit of food for thought;  guess what this young drivers are running their cars into as they exit this world or end up in the hospital.  So if you are thinking, I don’t have children and it’s not my problem, think again the next time you are on the road. Get involved whenever you have the opportunity, through any channel available (school, YMCA or other youth organizations, and church).  With our support the youth (our future) will care more about their own safety, because they will know that we care.  The best is yet to come….

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