Getting in and out of the car – which happens a million times during childhood – can be dangerous for children if they are not paying attention, and especially as the car door is closing. This is often the precise instant that they reach for you, or push their sister, or drop a toy and go to rescue it.
As you are about to close the door, call out “Fingers Fingers”, and teach your children that this means that they should pull their hands back instantly, and protect their fingers.
Your children will soon become accustomed to heeding your warning and will instinctively protect themselves and their beautiful hands. This rule will also remind you to take one last look before you shut the car door.
There is no feeling worse than closing a car door on fingers, whether your children’s or someone else’s.
Once the injury starts to heal up-and the bruises fade, and the cast comes off, and the new nail grows in – you will have to suffer through the retelling of the story for exactly as long as the rest of your life. It will become a milestone of their childhood, and a millstone of your parenting skills.
A little warning can make all the difference and give your children that extra second that they just might need to pull fingers out of danger.
Excerpted from Parking Lot Rules & 75 Other Ideas for Raising Amazing Children by Tom Sturges Copyright © 2008 by Tom Sturges. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.