This post is by Evan Fischer of useddodgeengines.com.
Most parents approach the teenage years with a mixture of hope and dread.
You hope that the lessons you instilled in your kids as they grew will be enough to help them through this difficult transitional period. But at the same time you dread the many firsts they will face without you as they become more independent; first date, first kiss, first breakup, and of course, the first time they roll out of the driveway behind the wheel of a car. And it may be the last one that concerns you most, especially considering the high risk that is posed by inexperienced drivers.
But if you take the time to prepare your kids for the responsibilities involved in operating a moving vehicle, then chances are good that they’ll make the right choices. So here are just a few tips that can help every parent feel a little more relaxed and confident when it comes to sending their kids out on the road.
The first and most important thing to discuss with your teens is the responsibility that comes with driving a car. And there are three main topics that fall under this category: financial, legal, and personal.
They need to know that there are consequences for failure to take the weighty responsibility of operating a car seriously. You can help them understand the financial burden by making partial payment mandatory. In other words, make it a condition of driving that your teens get jobs and pay for a portion of the costs themselves. This will teach them a valuable lesson about the rewards of hard work and relieve you of some of the financial pressures associated with teen drivers.
There are also legal obligations that come with driving, so sit down with your teens to go over the driver’s manual and talk about the rules of the road.
Then comes the most important conversation: personal responsibility. Teens need to understand that reckless behavior puts them, their passengers, and other drivers at risk for accident and injury. You don’t necessarily want to bombard them with statistics, but you should open their eyes to the gravity of the choices they make when they get behind the wheel.
Of course, you’ll also need to set some ground rules (for their safety and your sanity!). You will almost certainly want to include limitations on where they can go, who they can have in the car, and time restrictions on driving at night (a curfew, in other words).
You definitely want kids to get the most out of life, but you’ll feel better knowing that there are rules in place to protect them.
Of course, you need to make the time for plenty of practice. You are ultimately responsible for the safety of your kids, so it is in your best interest (and theirs) to withhold the keys to the kingdom (so to speak) until you’re sure they’re ready.
This means taking them out for frequent practice sessions, so that you can monitor their progress and help them to prepare for any situation that might pop up.
Preparation is the key to helping your teens become the safe and responsible drivers (and adults) you know they can be, and it will certainly help you to sleep better at night!
Evan Fischer is a contributing writer for useddodgeengines.com, where used Dodge engines are shipped nationwide daily.