But Doesn’t Her Hair Look Great?

By Michael

Bike path, Palatine, Illinois, Tuesday morning. Mom and four little tots on bicycles. I don’t want to jump to any conclusions, but I’m gonna assume for the sake of this post that the children are hers.

I’ll also assume that she loves them. You can tell, because she’s at the street with all of their bicycles lined up behind hers and she’s saying they should stop and look both ways before crossing. She’s also made sure that all the little cuties have helmets on their kiddie crania.

Mom, though, is not so encumbered. Long hair flowing in the breeze, she’s rather fetching and, maybe, just a bit of a hottie. Not that I would notice, being a married guy who doesn’t even glance at other women. But for the sake of this post, we’ll assume she is a goddess.

It’s a very touching scene, but my admiration is dimmed by the bad lesson she’s teaching her children.

Is there anyone who doesn’t know already what that lesson is? Is there anyone out there—yeah, I’m talking to you—who is teaching the same lesson today?

Here’s the lessons our favorite mom is teaching to her tykes on bikes: “Helmets are for babies, not for grownups. When you’re little, you have to wear them, but not when you’re all grown up like me. Or like you’ll think you are when you turn 12 or 13, or maybe even 9, and start riding on the street instead of the sidewalk.”

I’ve got a somewhat more mirthful post on bicycling on the book blog this week, but this one is just for us parents and a bit more serious. I’ve taken a couple of spills in which I hit the pavement and cracked my helmet. Not pleasant, but I was very grateful to bust a helmet instead of a skull.

When you’re flying through the air and heading toward the ground, it’s too late to decide to wear a helmet. Make the choice to wear a helmet before you get on your bike, because it’s not just your children who need to be safe.

End of lecture. I’ll try to go back to being funny next week.

Michael Rosenbaum is 5 Minutes for Parenting’s first dadblogger. He is a business consultant, playwright and author of Your Name Here: Guide to Life.

Michael blogs on life issues at Your Name Here Guide to Life and manages the Adult Conversation discussion group on Linked-In.

4 Responses to But Doesn’t Her Hair Look Great?
  1. Stephanie
    June 29, 2010 | 5:21 pm

    Thanks for posting this. I see parents doing it all the time and it drives me nuts. I’ve even told a few that they should wear helmets too.

  2. Anitra
    June 30, 2010 | 1:18 pm

    YES!!! Same thing with parents who strap their kids into carseats but won’t wear their own seatbelt (in states where adults are not forced to do so.)

    My not-quite-2-year-old already knows that she needs a helmet to ride a bike, and that mommy and daddy wear them when we ride, too.

    Also: My father taught me, around the age fo 8, that riding on the street is good (a lot less dangerous than riding on the sidewalk), as long as you are:
    a) visible
    b) following all traffic laws (ride on the right side, signal turns, stop for lights & stop signs, etc.)
    c) not too timid (hugging the curb is unsafe because you could run into it and fall over).

    When I didn’t follow a couple of these rules in highschool (riding unsafely on the sidewalk, or crossing over to the sidewalk behind a car), I got into an accident. And boy, was I glad I was wearing a helmet, which cracked, rather than my skull.

  3. Janice (5 Minutes for Mom)
    June 30, 2010 | 2:34 pm

    GREAT point!!! It is so important to model the behavior!!!

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