It seems like yesterday that your child was making the transition from crawling to walking; and now they’re making the transition from walking to driving. Where did all the time go? In any case, this is about to provide a shift that all parents have to deal with eventually. Your child suddenly has more freedom, more power, and a drive (heh) to get out and see the world. But not so fast: before they set off on their own adventures, you’ll need – and want – to make sure they fully understand their responsibilities, and how to act on the road. Here’s how you do it.
Be the Role Model
Your children learn more from you than you probably realise. It’s not just what you tell them; it’s what you show them. Remember this when you’re driving them around. If they see you driving aggressively, or shouting at other drivers, or talking on your phone when you should be focused on the road, then there’s a pretty high chance that they’ ll do all of those things too. When your kids are in the car with you, be the role model, the type of driver that you’ll hope they’ll be.
Talk to Them
Education is an imperative part of being safe on the road. You might be the best “driver” in the world, but if you don’t understand all the responsibilities that go along with being on the road, then what good is being the best? It’s easy for a young driver to act irresponsibly, and sometimes this isn’t because of an intuitive rebellious attitude – it’s just because they don’t know any better. Before you grant them the freedom of the road, make sure they’re well versed in the do’s and don’t of driving.
What better way to put your mind at rest than by checking that your son or daughter is a competent driver?! All you have to do is…ride along with them! If you need to go to the store, don’t drive yourself: have them drive for you. It’ll give you an opportunity to see how they are on the road, and to correct any poor behaviors before they become too embedded in their driving habits. Plus…you get a free ride!
They may have passed their test, they may have a car, but you’re still in control. Being on the road is a privilege that has to be earned; it’s not an automatic right. As such, you have a degree of power, here. Before you give your child the freedom of the roads, develop a contract, and have them sign it. If they break any of the rules, then they may lose their right to drive. It’s an efficient way of ensuring your child is safe on the road, and it’ll also prevent you from worrying too much. Take a look at https://www.cdc.gov/parentsarethekey/agreement/index.html for a basic agreement contract.
The safety of your teen isn’t just down to their own driving behaviors; it also depends on the other drivers on the road. And of course, you also have to keep other drivers safe from your child when on the road. As such, it’s imperative that your son or daughter has car insurance that can cover the costs of any injuries or damages that may occur due to their actions. Before handing over the keys, make sure you’re taking a look at https://www1.johnson.ca/auto-insurance, and get comprehensive insurance for your child. You can’t always prevent bad things from happening, but you can make sure that they’re not as bad as they could be.
Basic Car Repairs
It doesn’t matter what car they’re driving; sooner or later, your child is going to have to deal with a broken down vehicle. While some problems will require the expertise of a professional, a surprisingly high amount of basic repairs can be done by anyone. With your son or daughter, take a look at http://www.lifehack.org/374885/10-basic-car-repairs-everyone-should-know – and make sure they can do all of the repairs listed. While some repairs – such as paint scratches – are purely cosmetic, others, like knowing how to change a tire, might just be a lifesaver one day.
Give and Take
It’s not easy when your son or daughter has a level of freedom that they’ve never had before. But if it’s going to happen, it’s best that it does it on your terms. Make sure you don’t try to control them too much, and you won’t have to worry about them rebelling against your control.