Has the time finally arrived when being a mom means watching your son or daughter learn how to drive? If so, how will you handle it?
For many moms, it can be a time of angst, thus knowing their little one is no longer so little these days.
That said it is important to encourage your teen when they are ready to drive. To try and hold them back sends the wrong message on several fronts.
Of most importance, teach your teen the responsibility they will have as they learn to drive.
Given all the potentials for an accident, your teen must keep themselves and others as safe as can be.
So, is it time to get your teenager driving?
It All Starts with the Drive for Safety
In doing all you can to focus on safety with your teen learning how to drive, remember these pointers:
1. Rules of the road – Do your best to educate your teenager on the rules of the road. While he or she will have to pass both their learner’s permit and driver’s tests, the learning does not stop there. Once they are legal to drive, the learning process continues. Remind your teen to stay abreast of your state’s road laws so that they are not caught off guard by anything.
2. Steering around distractions – As many adults can admit, distractions can come fast. As such, it is important your teen does his or her best to avoid them. This means not using a cell phone while behind the wheel. It also means not becoming too engaged with friends when they are riding in the vehicle. Last, it means not getting too focused on what other drivers are doing. Sure, one needs to have an idea if someone is following them too close or about to come into their lane. That said your teen can’t fixate on other drivers. In the process, they lose their own focus of what they need to do to stay safe on the road.
3. Never drink and drive. Unfortunately, too many parents have gotten a call or knock on the door from law enforcement. Learning one’s child died in an auto accident can be something that will live with a parent forever. Making matters worse, discovering their teen was drinking. Remind your teen often that drinking and driving can prove a deadly combination. First, your teen is not old enough by law drink. Second, it can be the last drink they ever take if they are too intoxicated to operate the vehicle they are driving.
Be a Good Role Model for Younger Siblings
When you have more than one child at home, you want the older ones to be good role models for their younger siblings.
That said your teen learning to drive can be educational for younger children.
Whether you have a big family or a smaller one, talk to your teen about how he or she can be a productive role model. Face it; many younger children try to emulate their older siblings. In the process, they may pick up some good habits and some not so good ones.
When your teen is a responsible driver, it will in all hope rub off on those waiting in the wings one day to drive.
In teaching your teen responsibility, are you moving forward or going in reverse?