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When determining your teen's driving privileges, make sure not to plan hastily. Make sure to write up a driving contract with your teen, don't hand them all the privileges all at once, let them pay the consequences of their actions, and tie the car to good behaviors.
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When your teenager first gets
their license, a whole new set of rules have to come into play in your household.
Your teenager has an unprecedented level of independence, especially if they're
among the first of their friends to get their license. Controlling that
independence, however, is part of keeping your teen safe on the road. To ensure
that they use their newly acquired skill appropriately, there are several
things that you should consider.
Write Up a Contract
Detail exactly the behavior that
you expect from your teenager in order for them to keep their driving
privileges and put it in writing. Be sure that your expectations are clear up
front. Take the time to think through a variety of scenarios up front. How, for
example, will you handle a teenager who repeatedly breaks curfew? A teenager
who isn't following safe driving laws? A teenager who skips school without your
all of that in writing ahead of time so that there are no surprises when
you have to institute consequences later.
Don't Hand Over the Reins All
When your teenager first starts
driving, the world opens up before them--but that doesn't mean that they should
grasp it all at once. At first, you might want to limit the streets on which
your teenager can drive. For example, you might want to forbid solo highway
driving or limit your teenager to familiar side streets until they're more
confident in their driving abilities. While you've probably already spent
plenty of miles in the passenger's seat while your teen practiced driving, that
doesn't mean you're done coaching them through the process. If your child needs
extra work on highway driving, driving
in the rain, or another necessary skill, insist that you be in the car with
them when they drive in those conditions.
Let Them Pay the Consequences
Accidents happen. Minor errors
in judgment can have serious repercussions when your teenager is behind the
wheel of a car. Sometimes, that's in the form of an accident. Other times, it's
a ticket. Let your teenager know up front that if they do receive a ticket,
they'll be responsible for paying it--and for any increase in insurance that
results. While your accident policy might be more lax, your teen should bear at
least a portion of the responsibility for that, as well. Knowing that they'll
be responsible for the consequences, says New York attorney Zev Goldstein,
helps to encourage positive driving behavior-- and that means that your teen
will be safer.
Some offenses, on the other
hand, should lead to immediate, strict consequences. Drinking and driving, for
example, should result in an immediate confiscation of the car. Reckless
driving behavior should also mean that the car is forfeited.
Tie the Car to Desired
Do you want your teenager to
maintain good grades in school? Keep their after-school job? Complete certain
household chores? A car is a privilege, not a right. Let your teen know up
front that there are certain behaviors that they will be expected to maintain
if they want to keep those privileges.
Sending your teenager out on the
road alone can be scary. By setting a few guidelines in place first, you can
develop circumstances that will lead to a better driving record, safer behavior
behind the wheel, and even more responsible behavior overall as your teen works
to keep their driving privileges.
I disagree with most of this article. When you write up a written contract detailing all imaginable scenarios, what happens if you haven't imagined everything?It should not be necessary to restrict where your teen can drive. If they are not ready to handle the unexpected, they should not be driving on their own yet.Let them pay for their consequences. Absolutely.Don't tie driving privileges to other good behaviour. Driving is a privilege. Do it welland you can keep doing it. If your child misses curfew, they can't go out. It has nothing to do with the car.I have a teen who has been driving my car almost exclusively for a year and this has worked well for us. The next child will get the car when she gets her license with the same deal.
Posted by user_13019 on Jul 28, 5:22 a.m. |
| Flag as abuse
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