Monday, August 15, 2011

Maybe I Went A Little Overboard

Helmets are important safety gear for a number of occupations and sports, most notably for bike riding. Because some inattentive motorists may be texting/eating/putting on makeup/watching a movie/having a seizure while driving, wearing a helmet makes sense. It won't make a cyclist invincible, but it does make a difference most of the time.

I want my son to wear a helmet if he rides his bike. He is just learning, he is not very steady, and we live at the bottom of a hill. That's a recipe for disaster right there. My husband was not as interested in helmet wearing, offering up the "he'll look funny" and the "none of the other kids will be wearing them" arguments. I refused to budge on this issue. I've seen the results of head injuries, and I don't want that to happen to Zane, not if it can be prevented or at least mitigated. So the boy has a very cool Spiderman bike helmet, perfect for bike riding.

To encourage Zane to wear his helmet, I started to point out to him cyclists and motorcyclists who weren't wearing helmets.

"Look Zane!" I said. "That boy/man/woman/girl isn't wearing a helmet! Think of how sad his Mama will be if he falls down and gets hurt! He/She made a bad choice!"

Soon Zane began happily pointing out to me those who were not wearing helmets. He would say that they were "bad". I would remind him that the person wasn't bad, only that they had made a bad choice. Zane seemed to only hear the word "bad", and I could not dissuade him. Being lazy, I just decided not to say anything more about the "bad". Maybe Zane would get bored with the whole thing and just move on.

Except my son decided to generalize.

"He's not wearing a helmet! He's bad!"

"Uh, Zane...that guy is walking."

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