Child car seats are a bit of a pain in the neck I think we’d all agree, but a vital safety purchase to keep our precious children safe. I recently saw on a friend’s Facebook page that a friend of hers had taken their children out of high-backed boosters (to normal ones) at 5 and 6 years of age. It feels too young. A child smaller than my son, but in his class, is going without even a booster. My son is just a touch under the legal requirement for a car seat.
J aged 9 (just) is in a high-backed booster. It is starting to get a bit small for him as I have the height up to the max, but it still provides some protection and it keeps the seatbelt in the right place. Most high-backed boosters can be used until the top of the seat is below the eye level of the child. At some point in the next few years he will outgrow it, but for now, even if he goes over the legal height requirement, he uses it.
The lady I saw on Facebook was quite determined that her children weren’t going back into high-backed boosters, despite the uncoming change in the law. This surprised me as I kind of assume that all parents will want their children to be safe. I can see that you might have made a decision to take them into boosters in the past, but if things change then wouldn’t you revisit your decision for your child’s safety. Using the change in the law as justification provides the perfect reason to give your child for the move back to a previous seat. I think though before I moved seats I’ve had done a lot of research in the first place. This lady didn’t even seem to be aware that high-backed boosters had side impact protection.
My son is a good boy and a bright boy,. He’s never in trouble to speak of at school: never been sent to the head and we’ve never been called in. At parents’ evening we get told every time that he’s attentive and a hard worker. He’s doing well. You’d think with all that going for him he’d be well rewarded at school wouldn’t you? But, you’d be wrong.
They have a certificate scheme at school to reward children. The idea is that if you work hard or do something good, you get a certificate. The thing is that so far this year my son has about 8 certificates. You have to have 30 or more to get any sort of recognition (beyond the certificate itself) and more to get the better ‘prizes’ within the scheme. It doesn’t look likely that he’ll get even close. It had crossed my mind to wonder which paragon of virtue might have got those sort of figures, but I hadn’t worried about it.
As I say, I wasn’t that fussed about that until I realised that children who don’t behave as well and don’t try as hard, often seem to have more certificates. Not just a few more either. They seem to get given certificates if they do work hard or behave to encourage them, but day in day out hard work and good behaviour don’t stand out and aren’t rewarded in the same way. Of course, this sends out the wrong message and makes good children feel aggrieved. I do think these schemes have value, but you have to make sure that you give out certificates to all the children that deserve them. If you implement a system like this, you have to work hard at making sure you are rewarded those who deserve an accolade. Those paragons of virtue need to get the rewards and not the little pain in the neck who manages to be well behaved one day a week.
Are certain types of day better or worse for quality of driving? I’d like to think that first thing in the morning that people are on the ball. As the rush hour wears on though, do the stress levels increase and bring in worse driving? During the day I find driving is less problematic, but there are always some loonies around.
This week I drove my son to an event in the early evening: 6pm start. Now I’m not usually out and driving at this time. As I turned onto the main road, I spotted a car being weaved in and out of traffic. It wasn’t going amazingly fast, but a bit much so for the traffic conditions and that might have been why it wasn’t going any faster. I ended up following it, as it turned left at the same lights as me and then I followed it (someone slower) until it turned left again at the next roundabout (so going back on itself). I lost it there as I wasn’t driving around the block.
Now I have to wonder where it was actually going given that it turned left twice, which didn’t make much sense given local road layouts. Maybe the two young men driving were lost, but given the amount of fun they seemed to be having in the car, I think they were probably out for the fun of the drive. They worried me a bit because of that. I didn’t really feel happy being on the same road as them, as I wasn’t convinced safety was a top concern and I wasn’t sure they were concentrating that hard on the road.