BEING a parent is hard. You worry about things you never thought you'd have to worry about, like school bake sales, Paw Patrol and deciding whether to cut the sandwiches into squares or triangles.
There are many things we scramble to control as parents in the hope of protecting our children as they get older that we often don't realise they are actually being influenced by the stuff we do ourselves.
RACQ's Young Driver Survey found almost 90 per cent of drivers under the age of 25 had seen their parents drive while tired. More than 88 per cent of those surveyed witnessed their parents speeding, almost 15 per cent had seen mum or dad driving without a seatbelt and 72 per cent claimed to have seen their parents use their phone while behind the wheel.
What's truly concerning is the research also found parents' behaviours were significantly linked to young drivers' behaviours - in other words, monkey see, monkey do. P-platers are 17 per cent more likely to speed and drive fatigued if they've seen their parents doing it and are 14 per cent more likely to drive without a seatbelt if mum or dad does.
The adage "do as I say and not as I do” doesn't cut it any more. Research shows if you engage in risky behaviours, your child is more likely to follow suit - no matter how sternly you warn them against it. Remember this whenever you're behind the wheel.