How Moms Can Come to Terms with Their Teen Learning to Drive

As a mother, you want your kids to always be safe. That’s impossible, though. There are certainly threats out there in the world, and you can’t keep them locked up in a room with padded walls for their entire life. 

Because of this, you must do all you can to protect them as they grow while still trying to foster their independence. You want to keep them safe but also teach them about self-reliance. That can be a tricky balancing act. 

When your teen is getting close to the time when they can learn to drive and get their license, you might feel pride but also anxiety. Driving is a vital skill, but you might not like the idea of your sixteen-year-old getting out on the highway with multiple-ton commercial trucks. 

Let’s talk about ways that moms can better come to terms with this teen milestone. 

Your Fears Are Not Unfounded 

The first thing we should note is that your fears have a realistic basis. It’s not as though car wrecks and roadway fatalities and injuries don’t happen. You don’t want your teen to sustain a car accident whiplash injury, or something more dangerous or long-lasting. 

Just because something can happen, though, it doesn’t always follow that it’s going to. You should think about things like car accidents as your teen starts learning how to drive, but you should try not to fixate on them. Doing so is not healthy, and you must face your fears. 

It also does no good to pass those fears on to your teenage son or daughter. You want them to feel confident regarding this new chapter in their life, not afraid of it. 

You Can Help Teach Them to Drive  

Some high schools have driver’s ed programs, and those can help your teen as they get closer to testing for their license. However, you can take a hand in teaching them to drive as well. 

If you are an excellent driver, as well as a cautious one, you’ll make a great teacher for your teen. You can take them to a deserted parking lot somewhere and demonstrate the basics. You can show them how to adjust their mirrors, where the brake and gas are, and so forth. 

When they feel a little more confident, you can take them out on the road and into traffic for the first time. Make sure you go slowly and ease them into it. Don’t let them take the car out on the highway until both you and they feel confident enough that they won’t make a mistake once they’re out there. 

You Can Talk to Them About What You Expect 

You might also decide that you want to speak to your teen very frankly about what you expect from them now that they’re close to driving age. Maybe you plan on giving them your used car and buying a new one for yourself. Perhaps you don’t have the budget for that, and you’d prefer to let them borrow your vehicle occasionally. 

Either way, you can tell them that driving does come with some possible dangers and some responsibilities as well. You can tell them that you expect them to wear their seatbelt at all times, and they should never use their smartphone to talk or text while driving.

You can mention to them not to adjust the radio while driving or allow anything else to distract them, like a friend in the passenger’s seat if they’re driving some of their buddies around. You can also state explicitly that they are never to consume alcohol or any other drugs before they drive. 

Presumably, they know all of this already, as the driver’s ed class will cover similar ground. They should also hear it from you, though, their parent, and you must convey to them how serious you are about all of it. 

If you have a good relationship with your teen, they should understand your concerns, and hopefully, they will take your advice to heart. If you know they are responsible about most things anyway, you will probably feel a lot better as they get ready to take this next big step on the road toward adulthood. 

If you are in the car with them for a while as they’re learning to drive and you see the responsible behavior you want, that should help reassure you. At that point, all you can do is hope for the best. 

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