So I have what should be a really simple question to answer, and yet...maybe not.
It's about crossing a busy crosswalk without adult assistance. My 12-year-old son just started middle school; to get him there, I drop him off at a busy corner with a crosswalk. Only difference from elementary school is that there's no crossing guard.
This morning, he was the only one in the crosswalk, and with my "cross safely" ringing in his ears he...stopped. Waited for the cars there to go. They waited for him. The drivers started waving him across. But he, of course, was not looking at the drivers. He was just waiting. Honking started. I finally rolled down the window and said, "OK, go ahead, safe to cross!" And he, without looking first to be sure nothing had changed while I said that, darted across. Something about the whole thing worried me.
My question then: How do I teach him to look INSIDE the cars to see if the driver sees him, if the driver is waving him on, if the driver is NOT seeing him and is about to drive forward, etc.? This is going to come up when he starts to drive, too. Is there a simple way to address this tendency to just think, "the rule is that I can go when there are no cars at the crosswalk" or something like that, and not to adjust depending on the situation? Most mornings, he won't the be only one crossing. But when he is...I need him to be safe, and I can't think of a single simple "rule" he can use; the situation is always different, and I won't always be situated so I can direct him from my own car. Ideas? And THANK YOU.
[Visual image of an official DOT crosswalk sign, person in silhouette crossing street on yellow background]