August 17, 2016

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. We’re tapping away happily on our mobile when we happen to glance up and notice we’re a tad the wrong side of the MOR with a van-load of nuns approaching at speed.

“Ngnryurghhh,” our half-mastered terror makes us blurt out as we yank the wheel sharply to the left and the phone slides off into the footwell.

How many times have we asked the wife not to text us when we’re driving? One of these days we’re just not going to text back!

Yup, we’ve all been there. Kind of thing that happens every day.

But now apparently texting at the wheel is bad – not just when kids and young adults do it – but also when parents do it! Yes, that’s right, some bunch of busybodies at an outfit rejoicing in the superbly resonant brand name of OSV Ltd – a bunch of busybodies who have clearly never heard of the one-rule-from-them-another-rule-for-us clause in the parent’s handbook – are banging on about how parents who text while driving are setting their offspring a “terrible example”.

Based on some trumped-up survey purporting to show that more than one parent in five admits to texting or calling while driving “even when their children are in the car”, OSV Ltd, a vehicle leashing company, claim that “parents are setting a terrible example to their children.”

Sorry, OSV Ltd, but since when did it become a parent’s role to go round setting an example?! Under the above mentioned clause, the parent’s handbook quite clearly and unequivocally upholds the parent’s prerogative of “do as I say, not as I do.”

Imagine what kind of a world we’d be living in if our children went round behaving like we do! The idea that parental example in any way influences what children do is frankly ludicrous. Whenever this old chestnut crops up, parents need only remind those levelling such allegations that the so-called evidence of this effect is speculative, circumstantial and highly selective. How many children, after all, do you see reading a map, writing a letter, or plucking rogue hairs from their earholes!

No, the parent’s role is to chide and chastise – not to go round pretending to be a good boy or girl. And, in any case, when youngsters tap the screens of their mobile devices, you can be sure they’re the pathetic victims of a life-wasting addiction to some trivial “social”, “gaming”, or “entertainment” “application”. Whereas, when parents do the same thing, it’s bound to be something serious, grown-up and necessary. The sort of thing that free-riding fresh-faced young know-nowts simply wouldn’t understand.

Now, hang on to your hats, kids: I’m doubling back for another run at that Charizard!

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