A Parents Definition of a Mixed Blessing
you were little you wanted the Barbie Jeep or the Hot Wheels Racer
to speed down your street and make all your friends drool?
seems different when your children grow into teenagers and want
to drive... it usually isn't. The only difference is that now
it is a Jeep Grand Cherokee or Cadillac Escalade that is on your
child's wish list.
For some parents,
allowing their teens to drive is not an easy decision. Teenagers
are just learning about responsibility. Graduating high school
is difficult enough, some parents say, without having to worry
about paying for a car and everything that goes with it.
Scheduling conflicts might be resolved if your teen could drive
because it would alleviate the stress of running around town.
Perhaps your teen wants to get a job and it would be impossible
to get your teen to work if you are still at work yourself.
Learning road safety & responsibility
like these and others should be included when trying to reach
a compromise. Parents should consider the safety issues involved.
reviews online to find out more about the car of your child's
dreams. Does it rank high in safety and hold up in the crash tests?
The local department of motor vehicles in your area has tons of
statistics that will be helpful as well.
insurance companies and ask for a quote. Some parents split
the cost of the insurance with the new driver. This helps teach
responsibility and teen
money management so that the full brunt of the cost is not
only on the parents.
Setting the ground rules
in your teen's life as much as possible is a great way to make
sure he or she stays safe. Giving opportunities to drive will
be valuable lessons for you and your child. Set a time for the
two of you to drive together somewhere. If you need to run an
errand, take the passenger seat.
Getting to know your child's
friends and who might be riding in the car is important. Set limits
that will not be negotiated. Allow only one friend to ride at
a time and stick to a driving schedule. Some parents only let
their children drive to school or to work, not both.
driving a car is a privilege and not a right. If grades start
to fall or behavior is less than desirable, revoke the privilege.
Make sure to follow through with any punishments or restrictions
that are placed. That might mean sacrificing on your part since
it comes in handy for your teen to run to the store while you
cook dinner. If you give in when it is convenient for you and
not when you originally agreed, the wrong lesson will be learned.
should hold the reigns, parenting is not about wielding power
on a whim or controlling your child. Teaching that actions do
have consequences... and there is no way around them, is a valuable
lesson that everyone should learn.
are faced with this decision daily and survive! It is a huge milestone
that changes life for all involved. Parents discover an entirely
new realm of worry and teenagers a newfound freedom. Life changes
are difficult at best to adjust to. Chalk this one up to one for
More about teaching your kids to drive around the Web:
Driving.com- Chock full of tips for new drivers including instructions on parallel parking, driving in bad weather, plus related advice on buying a used car, advice on auto insurance, with related resources and suggested reading.
How to Crash Proof Your Teenager - Edmunds.com guide in 5 parts including advice on safety, laying down ground rules, how to find the best driver's ed program, and related tips.
Teaching Your Teen to Drive- Extensive guides from State Farm Insurance with tips for parents and teens including related facts and driving laws by state.
Katrina Cramer-Diaz is a working mom with a background in education and plenty of experience in parenting. She lives in Virginia with her four children.