How Can You Help Your Teen Driver Succeed?
Our oldest daughter turned 16 last month and if all goes well, she’ll get her license next month. Am I nervous? Sure. Can she do it? Absolutely. I know it’s hard to watch your baby get behind the wheel of your car but parents, you have to shake it off and get this right.
So, what can you do to help your teen driver? I have a few tips..
- Stop the passive-aggressive talk. For the love of God, please, please stop saying things like “Look out world, my kid is behind the wheel!!!”. How does it make you feel when you’re doing something you’ve NEVER DONE BEFORE and someone comes straight out of the gate with something like that? You gave your kid more encouragement for pooping in a pot when they were 2. Stop this negativity – now. And if you have friends that are saying things like that, make them stop as well. Your kid deserves better.
- Reconsider buying your kid the cheapest car you can find. Your attitude may be “well they’re just going to wreck it” (see #1, please) but let’s think about this one moment. Your most precious thing is your child.. and you’re going to put them in some POS that could break down on the side of the road because you don’t want them to wreck it. You want some more advice on what kind of car to buy your kid? Call my friend Tracy Myers at Myers Auto. He’ll set you straight and hook you up. (tell him to give me some store credit for referring you, would ya??)
- By the same token, don’t buy your kid a $70,000 car. There is not a kid in this WORLD who needs or deserves a high dollar car – I don’t care how much money you make. Kids who have these kind of cars tend to have even less interest in obeying the laws of the road. Why? Because they know you’re just going to bail them out. Use this as your chance to teach your kid that they don’t have money, YOU have money. You know.. like Dr. Huxtable taught Theo!
- Stop using the OMG Bar and the Invisible Brake – Your kids see this and like #1, they absorb this negativity. Look, I know it’s not easy but think back to when YOU were learning to drive. You survived, right? At least long enough to produce your own kids who are now driving…
- Establish the ground rules – Most states have certain rules for driving but you should also have your own rules. Two BIG ones for us are don’t text and drive and don’t EVER get in the car with anyone who’d been drinking – that includes adults. Repeat these to your teens over and over again. Tell them and MEAN IT that there will be NO questions asked if they call you from a party. As I’ve told my oldest, I would rather ground you for 6 weeks than bury you 6 feet under the ground.
- Stop sucking as a driver yourself – I’ll admit.. this is one that I am still working on. Are you an aggressive driver? Drive in the left lane? Tailgate? Sneak a peek at your phone? Guess what message you’re sending? That it’s okay for them to do it. Dan and Chuck made a point of telling the parents at TDSS that parents are almost as bad as teens because they have that false sense of security.. the “I’ve been driving for 20+ years so I’m good!” syndrome.
As many of you know, earlier this year the amazing folks up at Teen Driving Solutions School invited us up to go thru their VERY intense, advanced driving school. You can read more about our driving experience and how much Mackenzie and I learned here. If you aren’t fortunate enough to live in the NC/VA area, check and see if there is a similar school near you. It is well worth the money.
If you live in the Triad area of NC did you know that there are scholarships available? Contact the team at TDSS for more information!!
Want to see a little snippet of what Mackenzie went thru during her 2 days there? Check out this video…
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