Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Parking Pal - Like a little assistant helping keep your kids safe

Do you know what your child hears when you say "Stay right there. Don't move a muscle."? They hear "I'm going to be busy for a second, so if you see something cool that you must absolutely explore then go for it!"

Well, OK, fine, I might be over exaggerating a bit, but it's definitely true that children react better to short, clear, direct instructions rather than vague ones that don't really have a tangible meaning for them. Which is why "Freeze" works better than "Stay there, don't move." Fewer words to process, fewer possible interpretations.

When you need to unload a younger child from the car or gather a day's worth of supplies (jackets, bags, sippy cups, dolls, etc, etc...) you need your child to stand still somewhere safe until you're all ready to move away from the car. You tell them to "Freeze," but sometimes that isn't good enough. That's when the Parking Pal comes in.

You know how sometimes the simplest solutions are the best? This product is proof that that's true. It's a cute round magnet with the sketch of a hand that sticks to the side of your car. When you want your child to stand safely by the car you tell them to put their hand on the hand and to stay put. Presto! Safe child.

I know that my kid is not the type to run out into the street anyway, but she does love to follow me around the car as I unload everything. I know that your child might not fall for this trick, but it's still worth a try. For us the novelty, and inherent simplicity of the Parking Pal is working like a charm. C jumps out of the car and puts her hand right on the hand and there she stays until I tell her to come with me. Sheer brilliance.

Thumbs up for the Parking Pal, cute and simple, like all good products should be.
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