The joy of parenthood – it begins the moment you find out you’re going to be a mom or a dad. And before you know it, that happiness and excitement is soon overshadowed by the state of anxiety and uncertainty known as worrying. It’s inevitable. It’s part of the world of parenting. And when your child approaches driving age, worry takes on a whole new dimension.
Your child is now a teenager, and it’s probably hard to believe they are approaching the driving years. It’s an exciting time for teens, and now, more than ever, they need your help.
This week’s discussion is dedicated to providing parents with tips and resources to help coach your teens to become safe and responsible drivers, and maybe even help you worry a little less.
It starts with communication followed by action. National Safety Council tell us that experts advise taking the following actions to help keep your teen safe behind the wheel.
Talk to your teen
Talking to your teen about the rules of the road isn’t necessarily easy, but it is important. That’s why we recommend a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement to help start the conversation and come up with mutually agreed-upon rules of the road before handing over the keys to the car. The Allstate Foundation has developed state-specific templates you can use, and are available in English and Spanish.
Practice with new drivers
Sit beside them as they drive and schedule 30 minutes of practice time each week—before and after they get their license—to check in and see how they are doing.
Set a good example
Drive the way you want your teen to drive. Your sons and daughters have learned from you all their lives. They don’t stop learning now that they have their license.
Let teens earn privileges
The best way teens can show they are ready for new privileges is to show they can handle the ones they have been already given.
Parents should discuss their feelings about teen driver safety with each other
It can be tough enforcing rules with your teen when the parents of their friends don’t follow suit. It also can be dangerous for your teen to be a passenger in a car driven by a teen given too many driving privileges too soon. Make sure you know where other parents stand on teen driver safety and tell other parents about your feelings.
The TeenDrivingPlan (TDP) is an interactive web-based program to help parents more effectively supervise driving practice.
The learning component features 53 brief videos to guide parents in creating a positive learning environment and structuring practice activities in a variety of driving settings. Download the TeenDrivingPlan Practice Guide
The planning component features an interactive practice planner to help families select concrete goals for each practice session. Download the TeenDrivingPlan Goal Guide
The logging and rating tool helps families keep track of practice hours and skill development. Download the TeenDrivingPlan Logging and Rating Tool
© 2017 The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia