LETTER: Parents teaching children bad habits

Re: ICBC campaign shows drivers what’s really at stake (Gazette Dec.1)

The newest misguided campaign of our ICBC is a great example of diverting responsibility from the cause to the effect. There are no bad children – just bad parents. When I was a sprout, just barely mobile, The first lesson I learned about streets was: stop, look, listen.

It seems that today’s parents are too busy to teach this lesson and they themselves have become mentors of the distracted, clear my path entitlement. We know these people, they simply walk across streets without breaking stride, without looking and are most likely looking down at a phone or doing a list of distracting things. They walk along the sidewalk, and without hesitation, push the pedestrian light activation button on the way into the crosswalk. These people seem to think that the button stops cars automatically. They have forgotten that yellow lights stand for caution. Red is for stop and it is preceded by yellow. In school zones, we have crossing guards that skillfully time the crosswalk button so that the distracted parent and child can walk, blindly across the street without a second thought. If the parent can’t do it then the crossing guard should teach the child to press the button, watch and wait till the traffic has stopped. A great teachable moment lost, and a dangerous behaviour re-enforced.

This spreading bad parenting is passing the problem to the school system that has chosen to ignore this opportunity to enhance the safe learning environment mantra. How does that child safely cross the street without a crossing guard, without knowledge and likely distracted? This will get worse before it gets better.

Paul Preston

View Royal


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