Driving in South Florida is certainly an adult experience. Nevertheless, after being part of the driving public for the past 15 years I’m reminded almost daily of lessons my daughter learned in kindergarten 20 years ago. These lessons are so valid for an adult behind the wheel every day in Miami.
First, she was taught to wait her turn. Remember those impatient kids pushing to get to the same place first. How about those drivers who speed past you on the right to push in to make a left turn where there is no space? Then, there are those who simply make the left turn from the right lane while you patiently inch forward for the turn light?
Children in my daughter’s class were encouraged to express their feelings verbally instead of punching, kicking or, even worse, biting as forms of expression. With this instruction, she still voices her concerns and needs. Perhaps drivers who speed, drive dangerously and cut into traffic are the adults who never learned this lesson.
What happened when a child got up from their chair only to find another in the seat where they were sitting? It’s not your seat, the teacher would say. How many times have we experienced the impatient Miami drivers who push into places occupied by others as if it were their assigned seat?
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How do these lessons from my daughter’s childhood apply to the Miami roads? What is the relationship between kindergarten and our roads? Rather than responding in a way that would be regretted later, our children learned to think about and take responsibility for their responses and actions. Teachers gave them skills to stop bullying behavior.
Plain and simple, Miami drivers are bullies. Their actions, in fact, by example teach their children to be bullies. We should return to the lessons our children learned in kindergarten to stop this cycle of unsafe behavior and combat the scourge of bullying on Miami’s roads.
Annette B. Fromm,