Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I Know How to NOT Pay Attention Really Well

The very first I need to tell you is that this is a sponsored post. The very next thing I need to tell you is that I would have done this for free because it's a great campaign to help save teenagers' lives but please DON'T TELL THE SPONSOR THAT. Besides I already have plans for that money and also nobody likes a damn tattle tale. 

Here's the story:

Do you ever feel like some things are supposed to happen? Last Monday was a weird blog day for me. I broke down and told you guys that we weren't doing a holiday gift card exchange this year. That was really hard for me to do. 

It was also the day that I decided to run a post called "Inches and Seconds and Luck" that I had been debating sharing with you guys. I worried some people might think I was a bad person/parent for admitting that I'm checked out as a parent sometimes, trying to get through the day. The post was about how lucky and grateful I feel that I was mindful and paying attention when a little boy ran behind my van as I was backing out of the preschool parking lot recently. 

That same day, I got an email asking me to write a sponsored post to promote a campaign to reduce drunk and distracted driving among teenagers. I watched the video - it was all about teenagers needing to pay attention, to keep themselves and others safe behind the wheel. 

I was like: "Goosebumps! YES!! Of course, I'll do it. You don't even need to p--"

Then I stopped. Because I realized that the fee from this post was enough to let me, Guru and Kate help pay off lay-aways for struggling families this Holiday season. A few of them. And I thought: "I WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY! AND I WILL BUY TOYS AND DIAPERS WITH IT! WHILE WEARING AN ELF HAT!"*

*Yes. There will be photographic evidence of this. Kate suggested also wearing beards.

So I'd like to sincerely thank the Century Council for the opportunity to promote something I already feel strongly about (so strongly that I have JUST written about it). I also want to thank them for giving us the money to help some families out this Holiday season.  

The campaign is called "I Know Everything" and it's a play off the fact that "teens are overly confident and think they’re invincible. Most parents have years of driving experience and feel they are qualified instructors to teach their own children how to drive safely. Everyone thinks they know everything."

The fact is that car crashes are the number one killer of teenagers ages 15-20. Here's the thing that makes it so hard for me - especially in light of the inches and seconds and luck that are still haunting me right now - these deaths are often preventable. Losing a child is never ok. Losing a child in a preventable accident just... It just makes me feel crazy. 

Here's their resource page for parents, to help us help them do the right thing. There's really a lot of good information there including cool infographics like this one:

Also, here's the 4 minute video they made to help teens remind themselves that they already know everything they need to stay safe and make good choices while driving. 

I feel like right now, the best thing I can do is model the kind of behavior I want my kids to see. It also means taking that extra step and talking about it with them. For me, it also means putting the phone away. I've definitely been guilty of this in the past, but given the experience I recently had - I'm already a better, more focused driver and I'm not going back. No matter what.

You can also find this project on:


(c) Mommyland Blogs 2013


  1. Yes, yes, yes. Thank you for this. My son totaled a car last year -- during his first year of driving -- when he ran a red light less than a mile from home and hit a truck and a minivan. His little brother was in the passenger seat. By the grace of God they were fine (I wasn't!). I still don't know how it happened, but at the very least he wasn't paying attention. He was required by the court to take a "perceptive driving" course which I had to take with him. I would highly recommend a course like that for all new drivers (and most old Northern VA drivers). He learned far more than he was taught in drivers ed at school. Young parents: tuck that bit of info away for the future. And all of us should be aware that we do set an example for our kids. Put the phones away -- throw them in the trunk if necessary! All it takes is a second of glancing down at a phone for a tragedy to occur. It's not worth it.

    1. My daughter and I were rear-ended by a student at her high school who was texting when she slammed into us. Thankfully she didn't hit one of the other students darting across the street, but too bad that both of us are injured due to her negligence. She didn't even act like she was sorry.

  2. I appreciate the blog mentioning the needs of parenting for teens. As a mom with teenagers that drive- this is very important. My kids both drive and I worry constantly especially when both of them drive off- What is going to happen? Will they remember everything? Will they show a good example?
    As parents, we are role models- from the no phone while driving, to the "roll" of a stop sign, to the one finger salute to rude drivers, we are examples- no matter what. If you have the joy of living in a very populated state known for poor drivers- this is an extra worry. Our children learn from us, and from every other poor driver.

    To all the moms with little ones who think this isn't important right now- it is. This gives you time to change your driving habits- so you don't have one of your teens say to you "In Drivers Ed, we learned that texting while driving is an offense worth $300 fine." Put your phone, Ipad, Kindles and any other electronics away. Yes I have seen drivers with Ipads up and open while driving! Think of your little ones all safe and strapped in the 5 point car seat-- driving behind the wheel of the very car you are driving. For their sake and yours, be an example!

  3. This is so important- thank you! My kids are still little, but I think about my driving habits all the time and that they will copy me even 9 years from now if I have bad habits! Nice work!

  4. Once, to be home by curfew, I went TWICE the speed limit on city streets. I made it, and I didn't get a ticket (clearly I should have) but looking back, I am going to set a "tell us you're on your way home now" curfew with my own kids, rather than risk them doing the same thing.

    1. I'm guilty of doing this also as a teen. Driving way too fast, at night all because I didn't leave wherever I was at 5 minutes earlier.

  5. Very timely. My daughter and I were rear ended 2 weeks ago by another student at her high school who was TEXTING WHILE DRIVING....she never hit the brakes, just slammed into us while we were stopped at a light. She wasn't even given a ticket. She wasn't hurt. Meanwhile my daughter and I were both hurt, by thankfully I was hurt much worse. I've lost time off from work and single parenting is difficult enough when you're in pain but can't take anything because you have to go to work and drive your kid etc. How is it that science can show us PET scans proving that teenage brains are not fully developed, yet they still get handed car keys? I am suffering and this girl has no consequences at all. Unfortunately I have little faith that any campaign will make much of a difference to this entitled, disconnected generation.

  6. My sister died when she was 19 in a car crash. She was way over the speed limit, on a notoriously dangerous and unfamiliar road, at night, high on pot, and she wasn't wearing a seat belt. Oh, and she had never QUALIFIED to drive, having lost her learner's permit. It is terrifying how far the 'I know everything' can go. My baby sister was 8 when it happened. She is now eighteen and not to far off from her own licence. She is much respectful of her Responsibilities as a driver, and has a much better head on her shoulders.


    Every teen driver should enroll in this program. It has saved both of my children's lives, and I will be forever grateful.

  8. Loved the information and links that have been provided - thank you Lydia and the RFML clan!

    I picked up on something else that you said in the beginning of the post. I know you're not doing the gift card giveaway this year, but what if you created a paypal account that people can contribute to that will allow you to payoff even more layaways? Just a thought...

  9. Driving is a big responsibility. Always remind young teens to be a responsible driver. always pay attention on the road or even on the street, pedestrians. Roads are not just for cars it is also for people trying to cross the streets on on the high ways. Be responsible while you drive, respect other people and other drivers on the road do not be too aggressive on the wheels for it may cause accidents.




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