Deciding that your child is ready to drive is something only you can do as a parent. Until your child turns 18, it’s up to you to make decisions for his or her welfare.
How do you know when you’re child’s mature enough to handle the stresses of driving? How can you know that your child won’t make serious errors that put others at risk? Here are three things to consider.
1. Take attitude into account
The first thing you may want to think about is how your child talks about driving. Does he or she talk about wanting to race, speed or act in dangerous ways? Does he or she talk about wanting to take all of his or her friends to parties? It’s a good time to assess what your child thinks driving is really all about.
2. Discuss responsibility
Once you know how your child approaches driving, you need to sit down and talk about responsibility. Talk about what you’d expect if your child was to learn to drive. Discuss what the rules of the road are and what you expect from your child in terms of behavior. Having a good discussion on the dangers of vehicles and the importance of paying attention can make a major difference in your child’s life once he or she starts driving.
3. Define the rules
Finally, define your rules. What do you want to see your child do in exchange for this privilege? Do you want him or her to drive safely without tickets? What happens if you find out your child has broken a law? How many hours of driving practice do you expect before driving your child to take his or her driving test? Set your rules and boundaries now. If your child disagrees, then he or she may not be prepared for the responsibility of driving.
The risk of accidents is high for teens, and your child needs to understand that. Be clear in your expectations for your child, so you can help create a safe driver.