Teens and driving

01 Aug 2018 7:17 PM | Anonymous

I have been asked by many parents about the best way to teach your child the importance of driving safely. I have always said, it starts with example. Your child has been watching you their whole life!  From a baby in a car seat to a child in a seat belt he or she has learned A LOT about driving by watching you. We as parents need to lead by example. This is as simple as always putting on your seatbelt, not messing with your phone or being distracted. Safe and sober driving should be a conversation you have with teachable moments as your child grows. For example, many schools hold assemblies on safety and having a conversation helps to drive home the  lifesaving information. Families need to also have clear expectations on 0 tolerance concerning drinking and drugs. This means you must also demonstrate this by not driving after having a drink.

When my children become old enough to get a learner's permit, I always started in the driveway and it is now a joke with my kids. They learned to drive backwards first, then learned parking. I did this for me, as a former trauma nurse I was scared to death to drive with them on the road! This gave me about 4-6 months to practice how to handle the car and build confidence. My next requirement was drive, drive, drive till they were sick of driving with me. I did many many hours of driving time with my teens. This built skill and believe it or not was a great way to spend time together without interruption. This is just a few thoughts on this topic, if you have a new driver enjoy this exciting time and remember your child has the best teacher of all- YOU.

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