Parenting a Teen Driver 101: Don’t Panic!

It’s always a nerve-wracking experience when your teen begins to drive. As a parent, we stress out quite a bit when we wave goodbye to our teen drivers. Fortunately, there are some steps that we can take to prepare everyone for this time in life. If your teen is starting to drive, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Teach Them Well

You’ll feel a lot better about your teen driving if you know that you’ve taught him or her well. Spend plenty of time practicing in empty parking lots, on side streets, and during off-hours on busier roads. You can have your teen work his or her way up to more busy areas when he or she is confident and doing well. You’ll be able to sleep better at night knowing that your child has been properly prepared for what he or she will encounter on the road. You want your child to stay safe, so it’s important to emphasize the steps to reduce his or her risk of an accident and to do so in a kind and patient manner.

Establish Rules

It’s never a good idea to simply hand over the keys to your teen. You need to set ground rules in order to establish some sort of routine with the vehicle you’ll be sharing. 

Some common rules include the following:

  • Only letting your child drive to school or work.
  • Not letting your child drive after dark.
  • Having your child contribute to buying gas and paying for insurance.

If your teen is irresponsible and damage ends up happening to your shared vehicle, make sure he or she is held responsible for his or her actions. Your child should contribute to the repair costs, too.

Set a Good Example

Keep in mind that your teen is going to be keeping a close eye on how you drive these days. Because your son or daughter is just learning, he or she will want to see if you follow the rules that are expected of him or her. Even if you feel like you’re an experienced driver, don’t pick up your phone to text or make a call. You should be following all the rules that you’re expecting your teen to follow.

If your teen breaks any rules doesn’t respect the power of an automobile, it’s a good idea to take his or her keys away. This shows them you’re serious about their safety. When your son or daughter is able to correct his or her behavior and understand what he or she did wrong, you can talk to him or her about getting his or her driving privileges back. By keeping these tips in mind, you can have more peace of mind when your teen gets behind the wheel.

Here’s another article you might like: Bad Driving Habits You Should Avoid

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