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Explaining the dangers of cars to a four year old??

yesterday she darted around me and her grandma and almost ran in front of a van in the parking lot. Today she was playing outside with the other girls and ran into the driveway- as a truck was getting ready to back out. Fortunately both of these times we were able to keep her from getting hit but she thinks we are just being mean to her. How do I explain how dangerous it is when death or severe pain is just not a concept she has had to face? I have a six year old too... she never had this problem.


Asked by LuckyClown at 1:44 PM on Feb. 15, 2009 in General Parenting

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This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • Take a watermelon and have it "run out" in front of a car to get hit - where she can see exactly what would happen if a car it a person or animal. Or read her news articles about children who were hit by a car and injured or killed. Then every time you're in a parking lot, use the rule of hold hands or be held and as you're walking, test her observation skills by pointing out the sound of cars starting and watch for the the back lights coming on so she can see and hear the signals for when cars are getting ready to move.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 4:01 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • this will sound harsh but the next time you see a dead animal from being hit by a car-show it to your child. tell her that it can and will happen to her if she doesnt look both ways and hold your hands while around cars or streets.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:46 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • You may have to scare her a little with it. I know what I had to do with my 3 kids was to tell them that if they got hit by a car then they could die. When they didn't realize what that means, I just explained to them that if you die you are no longer on the earth, that you don't get to see mommy and daddy anymore, and though they may not have exactly understood that got my point across. I was playing in my front yard with my oldest when he was only 18 months old, and he ran out into the road in the path of a truck, between 2 parked cars so the driver couldn't see him. Luckily the driver did see me jump up and run to the road, so he hit his brakes and stopped just a few feet away (the speed limit was only 25 thank God!) I have never been so scared in my life, and I think that even at that young age he understood that mommy was scared so something must be wrong because he never did it again!

    Answer by AprilDJC at 1:49 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • Just try explaining to her that if a car hits you, it can hurt more than any hurt she has felt so far, and that she may be killed which in that case would mean she is no longer on this earth with all her favorite things and the people she loves. Sorry this answer is so long =)

    Answer by AprilDJC at 1:50 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • Explaining cars/death to a 4 y/o is like explaining E-mc2 to a monkey, not happening. But you can explain that if you get off the grass, you are going in the house, period. (or because you could get hit by a car. But she doesn't get cause/effect yet. So....on the grass, or in the house, your choice. Tough situation, but "this too shall pass"! :)

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 2:51 PM on Feb. 15, 2009