Monday, September 19, 2005

No Substitute for Good Parenting

There's a couple of families in the swanky neighborhood of Atlanta that seem awfully concerned about their kid's safety. They've "invested" in some signs that look like a three foot high neon cookie in the shape of a child at play. The owner can insert a bicycle flag in the hand of this figurine whose purpose is to attract the attention of drivers in the hopes of slowing them down. (sorry, can't find a link yet)

My only problem with this?

Where the heck are the parents? I'll see the tot in the front yard, but the concerned parent is not visible. One day I actually saw one. He was hiding in the bushes. I had seen his sign, it was in the middle of the road, and he steps out and waves at me to slow down.

I do my best not to speed. I am a cautious driver. But as a parent I have to wonder why the focus isn't on training the children? I have spent years teaching my children not to idly play in the street. I stood outside with them in their younger years coaching them to listen and watch for cars, and by Jove if one comes along, yell "CAR!" and immediately go stand in the nearest patch of grass.

It was either that or I was going to run them over. :P

Instead, these parents are in save the children mode and not the teach your children to be smart mode. One day, you are going to turn your back on your kids and they'll be in the street. How will the children react when you are unable to?

The day the dad surprised me from behind the bushes, as I was leaving my destination, the family had retreated to the safety inside. I noticed that the plastic child decoy had been left behind, apparently the victim of hit-and-run. Where was the plastic child's dad?