It can be one of the most stressful parenting milestones. Teenagers cry “FREEDOM” while parents cry actual tears of fear.
I’m talking about the day your child gets his or her driver’s license. Anxiety and scary questions abound: Will they be safe? Will they drive responsibly? Will they wear their seatbelt? Will they go the speed limit?
As my mother says, “the only way to conquer your fear is to face it head on.” So the best way to approach teen driving is to give your teen the right tools they need to make smart decisions when hitting the open road.
It's all about laying the right foundation: that means instruction from a proper driving program, logging 70-100 hours of supervised driving time (yes, that sounds like a lot, but practice makes perfect!), and parents setting a good example behind the wheel (NO texting or yelling, mom and dad). If you are still freaked out once your kid is actually licensed, there is always “big brother” technology to the rescue. There are plenty of savvy tracking devices that you can install in your car that tell you where your teen has been, how fast they were driving. Some apps even disable the driver’s cell phone while inside the vehicle. Pretty cool stuff!
Times have definitely changed since our folks threw us the car keys (newsflash: You no longer put your hands at 10 and 2 o’clock). It’s better to be over-prepared than under when it comes to your new driver.
Do you have any great driving tips or stories that might help other parents navigate the road? Any topics you'd like us to cover in the future? Parental Guidance, TODAY.com's original video series, want to hear all about it. Please tell us on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #ParentalGuidance: @megancolarossi, @williegeist, @today_parents.
As we all know, being a parent is the toughest job in the world, but it’s totally worth the wild ride — especially when we get a little help from a friend!