So it would seem that I am dangerously close to being the Queen of Empty Threats. I am able to follow through on skipping the ice cream run when the kids are misbehaving. I can get automatic responses and instant “listening” ears when I threaten to turn off the television or take away a game.
But my son seems to see right through me when I tell him that the police will come and get him if he unlatches his car seat buckle one more time.
My almost 3-year-old son has started to announce joyously from the backseat, “I took my seatbelt off!” and when I glance in the rearview mirror, I can see his big blue eyes wide in triumph and expect to see him pumping his fist in the air.
When I tell him the police will come and get him if he doesn’t put it back on, he asks me “When?” and “Where will you go?” Apparently the idea of being taken away by a policeman is more exciting than riding copilot in the Mom Van.
I intend to implement some more, less threatening techniques to keep the little man safely secured.
- Remind him over and over about the reason for seatbelts and how they protect us. He is, after all, a little boy who enjoys wearing a superhero cape, so maybe the word “protect” will give him that added incentive to stay latched.
- Turn around and go home whenever possible. If we are headed to the park and he takes off his seat belt, I will give him a warning. If he doesn’t listen, we will turn around and go home. No second chances.
- There will be times I have to get to my destination with him. In those cases, I will pullover, stop the car and talk to him. To be honest, this seems like the least promising of ideas; young boys can be notorious non-listeners.
Keeping our children safe has been priority No. 1 since their arrival into our lives. Convincing them that the rules we put on them, the constraints, are crucial to keeping them with us, can be challenging. But with constant badgering, I feel certain I will be able to wear my son down. Maybe.