Learning to drive is one of the most exciting milestones for a teen. As parents, it can be one of the more nerve-wracking transitions we go through.
With newfound freedom comes new dangers and risks, and it’s natural for parents to worry about their teen’s safety on the road. However, there are steps parents can take to manage their emotions and set boundaries to ensure their teen is a safe and responsible driver.
Here are some ways to manage the realities of having a driving teen in your home!
Set a Great Example
When it comes to safe driving habits, it’s important for parents to lead by example. Teens learn from observing their parents and aren’t likely to obey your requirements if they see you not following them.
First, ensure that you never drive distracted. Don’t use mobile devices, eat or drink unsafely, or put on makeup while driving. Also, ensure you always wear your seatbelt, drive at a proper speed, and don’t fall into road rage or aggressive driving.
“Do as I say, not as I do” has never been effective, so be sure you’re leading the way in safe driving.
Talk About the Responsibilities of Driving
A driver has a lot of responsibilities that come along with freedom. Talk to your teen about these obligations and ensure they know what you expect of them in return for the privilege of driving.
These responsibilities include car maintenance, requiring passengers to be safe and seat belted, following all traffic rules, and making sure the car has gas and proper insurance coverage. You might decide that your teen should pay for gas, oil changes, or their portion of the car insurance bill to teach them financial responsibility.
Insurance for young drivers can be expensive, of course, so part of the lesson might be asking your teen to shop around to get the best rate for their coverage. A company like Freeway Car Insurance, which is known for helping young drivers find affordable insurance, is a great place to start.
Talking to your teen about their driving responsibilities can help them understand that freedom comes with requirements that they must meet.
Create Boundaries with Consequences
Finally, you’ll want to set clear expectations around your teen’s driving and enforce consequences if those rules are not followed.
You can explain to your child in advance what the requirements are and what will happen if they aren’t met. Encourage them to take their driving responsibilities seriously. If they break the rules, be consistent and follow through with the consequences you described.
You can use technology to monitor your teen’s driving to ensure they are safe and following the rules you’ve laid out. Hopefully, there won’t be many problems, but if there are, don’t be afraid to let your teen learn from the experience.
Enjoy Your Teen’s Independence
It’s natural to feel anxious about your teen on the road, but there are a lot of benefits for you as a parent as well. For instance, you aren’t required to take your child everywhere they want to go anymore.
Enjoy the flexibility and freedom a teen driver can bring to your home!