So how do you turn ‘using a phone whilst driving’ into an opportunity to teach your child something important.
Teachable moments should be your Number 1 strategy for sex education!
Learn more about what a teachable moment is.
Watch the video below.
[00:00:00] How do we turn someone using their phone while driving into a teachable moment?[Music].
[00:00:13] Hi, I’m Cath Hak from Sex Ed Rescue. Sex Ed Rescue is that channel where we talk about all things to do with puberty and growing up. Each week, we share a teachable moment which are everyday opportunities that come up and say, ‘Hey, talk about me! Use me to teach!’ What I do each week is share a different teachable moment to get you thinking and to show you all the opportunities around you.
This one is how to turn using a phone while driving into a teachable moment. Now, I don’t know about you, but in Australia it happens a lot. At traffic lights, especially when it’s night time, my kids and I see lots of people looking at their phones. People even do it when they’re driving. At my house, we have an upstairs with a balcony, so the kids and I can play a game where we count how many people we see on their devices as they’re driving.
This is a fantastic opportunity to talk about safety. Remember, kids do learn more from our actions than words. So even if we say to our kids, ‘Never use a phone while driving,’ then we hop in the car and check messages, it doesn’t matter. Your children are getting conflicting messages, and are thinking, ‘Well, you told me not to do it, but you’re doing it right now.’ There is lots of research that says that if we give our kids conflicting messages, they choose our actions over words. So, parents who text while driving are going to have children who do that too.
[00:02:15] In Australia, people are starting to get manslaughter charges. What happens is they use their phone while driving and run someone over or hit a cyclist. The drivers in these cases are starting to go to jail and I think the penalties of doing this are going to get stricter as our children start to drive.
So, it’s an opportunity to have a conversation about safe behaviour. I do think we need to start talking to younger kids about this so when they’re driving, they know what is and isn’t safe.
For example, if my kids and I are sitting in the car and my son points out someone who’s on their phone, I’ll look over and go, ‘Oh yeah, they are. What do you think could happen because of that?’ Then I can talk with him about how it’s dangerous and why it’s dangerous. So, I explain it to him and talk about what the possible consequences are. We can also talk about scenarios. Like, what if something happens on the road and I don’t know? Or what if your sister is calling and she hurt herself at home? Is it okay to answer the phone if she’s called five times in a row? We then talk about what’s the best way to respond. I would tell him he should pull over before answering the phone.
[00:04:05] We talk about those scenarios because it’s no point saying, ‘No, you can’t use your phone no matter what,’ because if they’re expecting an important phone call, say someone’s having surgery and you don’t know if they’re going to make it, they can’t ignore it. I know that even if my phone beeps, I must look. I can’t help myself, and I don’t even check my phone a lot.
So that’s some of the ways that I can turn people using their phone while driving into a teachable moment and a valuable chat.
I hope that helps. Cheers.
I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and to empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. You can join my online parent support group here and visit my shop for helpful resources.