Stick Figure Family

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Driving with Mom

It's only common sense. I expect good behavior in the car when we're traveling with the kids. That can be hard for youngsters with ADD & ADHD, though. Sometimes they just have to burst out into an irritating song. Or hog a shared blanket. Wiggles get in the way. Someone "touches" someone else. Or looks at them funny. Or "smells weird."

A gentle warning that I will pull over immediately if they don't "end it!" usually does the trick. They know to listen, because I have often done just that. Especially when they were younger. I'd pull over to the side of the road and have the offending kidlets get out and do jumping jacks. 50. 100. It worked wonders. The child would be embarrassed, of course, and try to get away with 'wimpy jacks.' Nope. Not allowed. In order to be counted, they must have straight arms, slapping them above the head and at their sides, legs jumping in and out at the proper angle. This usually did the trick. Usually.

Now that they're older, though, they're too cool to do the jumping jacks. So, I pull over and ask the offending person(s) to leave the car and walk to our destination. Really. You have no idea how many times we've tried to return from Church (where we've learned how to be Christ-like) and had to leave a child on the side of the road due to his rude and unkind words.

Just ask the 15-year-old. When she repeatedly acted up and wouldn't listen on the ride back from Salt Lake to her aunt's home, I let her out. She was given instructions to do 50 jumping jacks. She got out but wouldn't jump. "I'm in a dress," she wailed. But I was just as stubborn as she was. When she wouldn't jump, I gave her directions to her aunt's and left her. We'd been there dozens of times, surely she'd remember how to get there. Unfortunately, she got her directions mixed up. Fortunately, another auntie who was driving along recognized her and picked her up. If not for this, she'd probably still be walking - probably be in Arizona or Mexico by now. (And wishing she hadn't been showing off for those cousins.)

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