Have I go gone too far? (booster readiness)

Nedra

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
I have been a CPST for 3 years and was just certified as an instructor.

Perhaps not surprisingly, I have raised a safety-conscious child. She is 6 years old and when she turned 6 I tried her out in a booster on the demo seat at Buy Buy Baby. Belt fit looked great. I asked her, “Do you think you could sit still like this if you were in the car?” She asked me what I meant and I demonstrated how a seatbelt allows movement and explained that it was important to sit still when you use a seatbelt because it doesn’t hold you in place like a 5-point-harness does. Her eyes got wide and she said, “No, I wouldn’t be able to hold still. I need a 5-point harness.”

I admired her self-awareness and commitment to safety and didn’t think much on it again.

Until yesterday.

I was going to be picking my sister and her kids up from the airport and then lending them my car for the weekend and so I had reconfigured the seats in my car to accommodate her kids. There was a rear-facing convertible and a booster.

I realized I needed to pick my daughter up from school and that I no longer had a FF 5-point harness seat available. Ok, I thought, I will give her the choice of riding in the booster or the RF convertible. Well, my younger daughter was supposed to stay home with my boyfriend and watch PBS for the 15 min that it would take to pick up my kid from school....but she was sick and cried at the idea of me going someplace without her and so boyfriend and younger daughter came along....leaving the booster as the only option for my older daughter when I brought her to the car.

She FREAKED OUT. She started screaming, “No, no no! It’s not safe! It’s not safe! I need a 5-point harness! I can’t sit still enough!”

I tried to assure her that we were less than a mile from home and that she could sit still enough for the short drive and that boyfriend would sit in back with her to make sure she stayed still. I tried to pick her up to put her in the booster and she started flailing and kicking her legs out.

I asked her if we could at least TRY having her sit on the booster with my boyfriend next to her in the back seat to make sure she stayed still — if she still felt unsafe then he would walk home with her and I would drive home with my other daughter. She agreed but said he wouldn’t know how still she should be, so we explained to her that we use seatbelts too and that how still you need to be in a booster is the same as how still you need to be if you are a grown-up using a seatbelt.

She tolerated it — sniffling all the way (only a mile) home.

The whole experience made me wonder, though....

Should I be finding opportunities to booster-train my child? Even if she prefers the 5-pt harness? Should I force her to get some booster experience for situations like this?

My in-laws are enthusiastic about the idea of her moving to a booster, and truthfully, I am more confident that they will correctly use a booster than a car seat so I was hoping to maybe try it out with them this summer, thinking maybe by then my child would be ready for one....Plus she is going to a new school next year and the carpool line might be easier with a booster.....I guess I had always figured that she would *want* to do a booster whenever I determined that it was safe for her to try it. It feels weird to insist on her trying a “step down in safety” from where she already is when she doesn’t want to...but I also don’t know if it is practical to send a kid off to 1st grade with no booster experience.

Help?
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Sorry, it seems you have created an aspiring CPST. I'm not sure there is a cure;-)

Congrats on CPST-I!
 

jjordan

Moderator
I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong! But at the same time, if boostering has advantages for you, I’d continue encouraging her to stretch a bit out of her comfort zone and try the booster on occasion. Likely there will be many times through her childhood when she needs her mom to reassure her that she IS capable at those times when she’s second-guessing herself. :)
 

Nedra

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
Sorry, it seems you have created an aspiring CPST. I'm not sure there is a cure;-)

Congrats on CPST-I!
Thank you! Thinking back on it, this site has made such a tremendous impact on my career path...I don’t think I ever even knew what a CPST was when I first found this forum!
 

Nedra

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong! But at the same time, if boostering has advantages for you, I’d continue encouraging her to stretch a bit out of her comfort zone and try the booster on occasion. Likely there will be many times through her childhood when she needs her mom to reassure her that she IS capable at those times when she’s second-guessing herself. :)
That’s a good point! This is really no different than teaching her to swim or ice skate...yes, there are some dangers, but it’s also a skill that she can definitely master with practice and experience.
 

murphydog77

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
Congrats on becoming an instructor! My first thought when I read your post was that you could point out when you're driving that you and your boyfriend are wearing seat belts and they're keeping you safe. She sounds like she's going to need some extra encouragement :).
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
One thing you could maybe talk about is fit, teach her to identify good fit in the booster, bone strength, explain how strong her body is now. Also teaching rules since she sounds like a rule follower here- my 6 year old transitioned immediately with the help of "your back needs to be glued to the booster/seat back."
 

Car-Seat.Org Facebook Group

Forum statistics

Threads
219,317
Messages
2,200,996
Members
13,344
Latest member
ginatwhitaker

You must read your carseat and vehicle owner’s manual and understand any relevant state laws. These are the rules you must follow to restrain your children safely. All opinions at Car-Seat.Org are those of the individual author for informational purposes only, and do not necessarily reflect any policy or position of Carseat Media LLC. Car-Seat.Org makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. If you are unsure about information provided to you, please visit a local certified technician. Before posting or using our website you must read and agree to our TERMS.

Maxi Cosi is a proud sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!Graco is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!

Please  Support Car-Seat.Org  with your purchases of infant, convertible, combination and boosters seats from our premier sponsors above.
Shop travel systems, strollers and baby gear from Britax, Chicco, Clek, Combi, Evenflo, First Years, Graco, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, Safety 1st, Diono & more! ©2001-2020 Carseat Media LLC

Top