As parents, it can be a challenging time when our kids start to drive. Getting a driver’s license is a huge stepping stone in your teen’s life as well as your’s and along with it comes a load of emotions and extra worries on parents’ end. Driving is a huge responsibility. But the thing is, parents often don’t think of their son’s or daughter’s feelings during this new stage in their life. When teens start to drive, it makes them feel more grown up and it may just make them feel “cool.”
So today, I’m sharing a different approach to teen driving, a story from my son’s perspective as a new teen driver. I asked him some questions and it shed a whole new light on teen driving for me.
A teen’s point of view on driving
Driving responsibly is something that he knows is of the utmost importance. That not only means that he must follow the rules of the road, but he must also pay attention to his surroundings. You never know what the person next to you, behind you or in front of you is going to do, so it’s important to be aware of other drivers around you.
It’s easy to get distracted while driving, and he doesn’t like the idea of texting and driving. He’s always said, even before he was driving, that a text can wait. It’s not important enough to risk an accident. In fact, he tells that to any friends that he sees texting while driving.
He tries his best to be a safe driver. He puts his seat belt on the moment he gets in the car. It’s a law in our state, so not wearing it is reason to be pulled over. He tends not to speed and makes sure that he keeps a distance between his car and the car in front of him. You never know when another driver will just slam on their brakes, especially when driving on the freeway.
He has one friend who he considers his best driving companion because they just listen to music and have great conversation in the car. But there is another friend who is quite hyper, which annoys him when he’s driving. Thankfully, that kid doesn’t ride with him a whole lot.
He doesn’t feel that there are too many rules when it comes to driving because the majority of them are common sense. Sure, he would like to take longer road trips with friends, but he also realizes that he is under 18 and still has to live by his parents’ rules.
My take on that
I honestly feel much better after having this discussion with him. It not only helped us connect on a different, more adult level, but it reinforced that I can trust him more than I thought I initially could, which is a huge relief for me as a parent.
I encourage you to have a talk with your teen driver, too. Here are some questions that you could ask him or her to get the conversation going:
- Do you feel you have too many rules when driving?
- Do you feel pressured to act a certain way in the car with and without friends?
- What does responsible driving mean to you?
- Are their friends you won’t drive with? Why?
It might also help to share some of the experiences that you had as a teen driver too to get your teen to feel comfortable to share their experiences with you.