Monday, September 13, 2010

When Mommy Isn't Watching

Ok, I have a guilty pleasure to admit: Dateline NBC.

Guilty: because I have zero time to sit down and witness someone get "exposed" for an hour in my evening.

Pleasure: because there is something odd in me that enjoys seeing people's true nature... watching people self-destruct right there on cold, hard TV. Ok, feeling guilty again.

Said guilty pleasure happens about once every 6 month... and tonight with Tom OOT (out of town), I DVR'd the show.

This night, no murder trial, no child predators (thank heavens, that show makes me want to pull the plug on every computer in our neighborhood) , but it was the hidden camera watching kids when their parents weren't around that caught my attention.

Interesting situations:

*Will a child stand up against a bully?
*Will a child let a stranger in her house?
*Will a teenager text in the car? (There is a business that actually installs hidden camera to check this out)
*Will a child ride with a driver she thinks has been drinking?

In each case, Dateline NBC experimented with different kids and the outcome was different. One 12 year old girl stood up to the bully like I can only dream my kids would. One set of siblings, 12 and 14, let a stranger into the house when he flashed a badge and said he was a "milk inspector." Another little boy stood his ground when the elderly stranger demanded, "Let me in, my wife is sick!" The teenagers TOTALLY texted in the car, probably because they had seen their parents do it so many times and the kids riding with the older teen who showed signs of drinking? What do you think those 4 kids did? Got in the car with the drinking driver. All 4 of them.

It was pretty thought provoking and I'm somewhat convinced I will do the following things:

*Teach my kids to stand up to a bully. Give them specific strategies and show them the tape of the sweet girl (Lucy) who befriended the victim and was a total sweetheart.

*Set up a test for my kids and see if they will open the door to a stranger. I know it sounds awful. I am really thinking about it.

*Stop texting in the car completely. I am actually pretty good about it, however, I DO, I admit, I DO text at stoplights. I think that probably needs to stop too. The kids are watching!

*Start now talking about riding with safe drivers. And talk to my kids about it. I will probably show them the tape. I want them to see all the signs the teenagers chose to ignore. And set up an emergency code with the kids when they get older. The show suggested "111." That means drop everything and come get me now!

I just hope my kids do the right thing when Mommy isn't watching!!!!

5 Wonderful Responses:

momof4kr said...

More confirmation that parenting truly is the hardest job in the world! Sooo much to do, say, teach, discipline, praise. And, as you said - they're watching US! No pressure, right?!

Tracey said...

Annie, your children are so wonderful now that I doubt any of the above scenarios would move them from whta they know is right and wrong!!! You and Tom have done an amazing job of raising such wonderful, caring, respectful and smart children!!! Can I clone you and Kimbo when I have kids to teach me

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

I've always LOVED Dateline!

Shannon said...

I saw episode too. Downright scary. I don't think the whole test thing is a bad idea at all. I have been reading - just not commenting - but Happy Birthday to your Grandma and also loved your family pics on FB! Beautiful!

Baloney said...

I'm a stoplight texter also.
I've been tempted to test out the stranger thing with the car but not at the house. Hadn't thought of that. I'm grateful for the two giant dogs barking that follow us to the door, though.
I've thought about the drunk driving thing a lot. I was always proud that I've never driven when questionable, but I've hopped in to a car with others who might have had too many when I was in college. So stupid of me.