It’s natural to worry about your kid getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and driving off by themselves. Even if your child is the safest driver out there, you can’t control what other drivers may do, and no parent wants to get that one phone call. It’s not always easy to communicate everything that you want to tell them, but here are a few ways to encourage your teenager to drive safely.
Discuss the Dangers
There’s a delicate balance to achieve when discussing the potential dangers of driving with your teenager. If you focus too much on the dangers, they’ll probably just think you’re trying to scare them. However, if you don’t emphasize the risks, they may not fully grasp the potential consequences of reckless or unsafe driving. You want to be firm but reassuring about the importance of remaining focused, eliminating potential distractions, and adhering to local traffic laws.
One of the best ways to encourage your teenager to drive safely is to show your genuine support. If all you display is strictness, it’s normal for teens to want to rebel and see driving as a more naturally aggressive activity. Take the time to let your teenager know that you’re proud of them for getting their license. For example, there are many thoughtful gifts to give a new teenage driver that shows how supportive you are.
Be Firm With Consequences
There may be times when your teenager can break the established rules you have for them. Every parent has their own rules for driving, like how late they can be out or how many passengers they can have with them. If you catch your teenager breaking your rules, you may need to be firm and take away some of their driving privileges. When teens deal with real consequences, it may encourage them not to repeat this negative behavior. Just take the time to explain why you’re doing this and why it’s so serious so that it doesn’t just come across as punishment for punishment’s sake.