“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” ― James Baldwin
So, yesterday I was driving. You know the rules of the road when merging, taking turns one at a time. Well, apparently the driver behind me missed that part and when I looked into my review mirror as I merged, she decided to raise a finger…and no it was not to give me the peace sign. I drive in Chicago. I drive defensively and liberally use the horn. I’m no driving angel, so I returned the gesture.
Two blocks later, I turned off. The driver honked and when I looked in my mirror, she was showing me the bird, again. However, this time, since I was turning, I could see into the rear windows to see two children sitting in the back seat. They were probably around 6-8 years old. Seriously?!
Whether I had the right of way or not, even if I were being an a** of a driver, do you really need to respond that way with children in the car, and not once but twice! Let me say to that woman, you are a role model for the children in your car, whether they are yours or not. They will imitate you, so don’t be surprised when they handle frustrations with yelling, cursing, honking and obscene gestures.
Take heart, no parent is perfect and I guarantee that your child will pick up something from you that you wish they hadn’t. Most likely it will be multiple things. But if I can beseech you one thing, please role model and teach your children respect, even when angry, frustrated, hurt or in disagreement. In fact, that is when respect is most needed.