Monday, November 9, 2015
Tell Your Kid To Stop Telling Mine That Her Booster Seat Is For Babies
My daughter Natalie is 8.
And she sits in this.
Kids her age are starting to tell her that booster seats are for babies. This makes her upset. This makes her whine in a voice that makes me wish I could pull off my ears. "Why am I still in a baby seat?"
I explain to her that the booster seat will keep her safe should we get in an accident. We live in Oklahoma, land of no one wanting to use turn signals and being distracted by cell phones while driving. Basically? These are some frightening roads.
"But Suzy gets to ride in the front seat! With no booster seat!" Natalie will argue with me.
"Suzy will most likely fly through the windshield or be smothered to death by the airbag if she's in an accident," I'll explain. Maybe it's a bit dramatic. But unfortunately it might also be true.
"But people keep calling me a baby!" Natalie will shout indignantly. It's apparently mortifying to be called a baby when in the third grade.
"You're being safe. You aren't a baby." But I'll fume and wonder why these kids are making my daughter feel ashamed for the way she travels. Sometimes I'll hear them taunt Natalie when we pull up in front of the house. They'll rush over and yell, "Natalie! Why are you in that baby seat? Are you still a baby or what?" I'll have to bite my tongue to not lash out and shriek, "At least she has a higher chance of survival in a car accident you Veruca Salt wannabees."
The rules actually state that kids between the ages of 8-12 should be in a booster seat--or until they reach 4 feet 9 inches. Natalie is 4 feet 2 inches. Many kids Natalie's age shouldn't even BE up front--it's recommended that kids 13 and under remain in the backseat. I've told Natalie this. Over and over again. Whenever she freaks out about being called a baby I remind her of this.
Maybe she's learning because when we pulled up in front of the house the other day and her friends began to laugh about her booster seat, Natalie snapped, "At least I won't die in a car accident like you probably will." This caused the other girls fall silent.
So please. Remind your kids not to make fun of others. If you feel comfortable letting your children ride up front or without a booster seat, it's obviously your children. Your choice. Maybe they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches and don't really need the booster.
But remind them that some kids?
Still ride in a booster seat.
And that's okay.