Parenting teenagers is full of moments where you wave your child off and hope for the best. While they are out enjoying themselves, you sit at home watching the clock, hoping that nothing terrible happens. For all the worries about drinking, drugs and sex, the most dangerous thing your kids do is drive the car.
As soon as they hit 18, you have no legal control over them, so instead of fighting until they reach that age, try guiding them to make wise decisions.
See firsthand how they drive
Ride as a passenger with your child for the first few driving excursions, and take the odd ride with them in the future to check how their skills progress.
Extend the leash gradually
With summer vacations around the corner, some newly qualified drivers will be dreaming of road trips with friends. Consider if your child has the experience for that yet. The same applies to driving at night or on fast roads. It is OK to say not to some trips at first. They need to build experience gradually.
Set some unbreakable rules
Using the phone while driving or drinking and driving should all have consequences. You cannot ban your child from driving forever, yet you can take away the keys for a few days if needed. Try to agree on rules, rather than just telling them how it will be.
Remind them even skilled drivers get injured
If you try to limit your child, they might reply, “Don’t you trust me?” Help them understand that however careful they are, other road users might not be. It only takes one negligent driver to cause a car crash that leaves your child needing considerable compensation.