Would You Please Turn Off Your Damn Car?

Every day I see unattended parked cars with their motors running in the daycare parking lot, and it’s bugging the crap out of me.  Are our children (and ourselves!) really so frail that they can’t stand three more minutes of cold in the winter or heat in the summer?  And do my kids need to get run over to keep your kids comfortable? 

Granted, the daycare parking lot is inside a guarded gate, so theft isn’t a big concern, but what about safety?  I assume that some of the cars, at least, are unlocked since most people don’t carry a second set of keys.  It’s conceivable that a curious child could go exploring into an open, running car.  A car could also pop into gear.  A preschooler might reach for the gearshift while mom or dad is putting a sibling in a car seat.  It’s unlikely that any of these situations will happen, but in an environment crawling with kids even one mistake could be tragic.*  Call me hysterical, but I am pissed that other parents are putting my kids at risk in this way.   

What makes me equally irritated is that parents are doing this because they are trying to prevent their child from being inconvenienced or uncomfortable for even a short amount of time.  God forbid that a child be chilly for a minute under their coat, hat, and mittens or perspire while briefly exposed to non-conditioned air.  Where is this coddling going to take us?  If we aren’t careful, our well-meaning gestures like these will create spoiled, entitled children.  The last thing that we parents want to do is to raise adults not prepared for the realities of life.  Life is not fair.  You won’t always be the center of the universe.  The temperature is not always seventy-six degrees. 

Anyway, my kids will be sweating and freezing accordingly in our turned-off minivan.  I’ll chalk it up as a character building experience.  I would greatly appreciate if you would do the same. 

*By the way, if an accident or theft does happen in an unattended running car, most insurance policies will not cover liability, theft, or damage to the vehicle. 

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