Guys, we officially have a teen driver. I can’t believe it! Our oldest, Jackson, is driving now and I’ve been a bundle of nerves ever since he gave me that ‘I passed!’ smile. I’m so happy for him — who else remembers the freedom you felt when you first got your license?! But Bobby and I have also wanted to make sure he’s as safe and responsible on the road as can be. That’s why we’ve put together a few rules for our new driver to help practice responsibility, gratitude, and safety.
This goes without saying, but no multitasking. They can’t do it at home, they definitely can’t do it while driving a car. We have a strict no phone policy. It needs to be put away and out of reach within the driver’s seat. We have our guy plan ahead — plug in the GPS, text your ETA, pick your music all before you start the car.
A Privilege, Not a Right
Driving is a privilege, and it’s dependent upon good behavior. Jackson can express that through a number of ways — keeping up with his homework, maintaining good grades, driving his siblings around, and being respectful to family and friends. It’s not just about that day or that week, but regular mindfulness and kindness!
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Share the Work
It’s important to us that our new drivers learn that this car needs upkeep, and it’s part of their responsibility as a driver. Whether that’s paying for their gas whenever they use it, getting it washed regularly, planning ahead to ask permission to use the car, or contributing to insurance or oil changes, we want to teach them early on what it takes to keep a car up and running.
Seatbelts, always. We also teach Jackson to be aware of speed limits and to continually monitor his speed on the road so he can adjust as needed. No drinking and driving. These are the obvious non-negotiables that I will harp on over and over again. It’s never said enough times!
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Follow the Rules
Cars today are equipped with all the features needed for new drivers (and seasoned) to succeed on the road. My hope is to raise safe, observant, and diligent teens that truly understand the responsibility required to drive. If any of these rules are broken? Service, first! Helping out around the house or volunteering in the community always reminds our kids of what’s important. A crash course in gratitude never fails! What kind of boundaries do you set for your teen driver?