Real Talk

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I use our local paper to discuss scenarios with my kids.

What I do is print out an article and wait until one of my kids asks me about it.

Like the conversations about death, I keep it simple.

Speed Kills – he’d have missed the truck if he’d been going less than 90 mph.

Another mantra I like is “keep it under 80.” A State Trooper let a friend off with a warning, and that phrase. We’ve never forgotten it.

We talked about the couple that was killed (the dead driver was my age).

My son figured out how the tragedy will cascade outward for the survivors.

Here’s what I want you to remember…

You will be in a car when something stupid is going on. I want you to speak up and save your friend.

My kids had a “his life is over” response to the news that he was going to be charged.

No, I don’t think his life is over. He’s going to need to make amends but he’s still going to be a young man when he gets out of prison.

Part of that discussion, from my end, is to avoid one of my kids harming themselves in the aftermath of an inevitable setback.

My style of parenting is “we can deal with it” and I want my family to bring their bad news to me.

My family is prone to catastrophizing. It takes mental training to avoid the leap to a worst-case scenario. I’ve been working with my son on this since he’s been three. Highly empathetic individuals have the ability to feel tragedy, very quickly.

The other part was to stimulate a discussion about what “making amends” might look like.

Well, two people lost their lives. How might the driver be able to save two lives?

Maybe he can save other kids from making the same mistakes?

How might he do that?

This is real.

This will happen.

What is your plan?

An outstanding video about high consequence, low frequency situations. In some lines of work, you don’t have the opportunity to opt-out of your risk of ruin.

We also had two fatalities at our local ski hill – separate events, tree strikes, 48 hours apart. So there’s been plenty of opportunity to talk about the role of speed in accidental death.

I’ve spent a lifetime reinforcing a habit of slowing down when I feel unsure.

  • Let’s.
  • Just.
  • Think.
  • About.
  • This.

Build habits, and systems, to slow your decision making.