Sunday, January 17, 2010

Every Parents Nightmare

You can't escape it, no matter how much you may want to. Sooner or later, your child will learn to drive. They will put out the hands that used to have trouble holding onto a cup without spilling, and gleefully ask those mind numbing words" Can I borrow the car?" Kids understand driving is a big deal. It signals the ultimate freedom for them. Little do they realize the immense power that comes with that small piece of plastic. I rarely advocate for "tough love" or scaring kids straight. This might be an exception. Kids need to know just how easily they can become victims on the roadways. They need to understand it only takes a split second of inattention to cause an accident that may well end a life.So while you are searching for your insurance agents number and your check book, keep this list in handy to go over with your kids as they take off on their first drive. Make sure they have a good teacher, someone that is patient and has nerves of steel. I recommend this not be you. It is well worth the money to employ a professional driving instructor to brave the terrors of student driving. Consider a defensive driving course.Not only will this decrease your insurance bill, but it will give your kids an idea of how a car behaves in certain conditions, like wet roads. Practice, practice, practice! Although it may take every ounce of courage to do, ride with your kids.. a lot. See how they react to traffic. This is when you may actually be able to help them with some lessons you have learned along your ride. Teach them about safety. Every driver should know how to place road flares if they breakdown and they should always have emergency numbers in their car and their wallet or purses. Let them know, they can call you if they are in an accident no matter how minor it may be. This is where you exercise patience. They will test you to see what kind of a reaction they will get with a " Hi Dad, I just hit a post" call. If you go through the roof, chances are when they really are in a wreck you will be the last person they call. So do you really want to chance your child calling that wierd kid he hangs out with in an emergency? Parents, my advice to you is pray lots, maybe drink a little to steady your nerves and be ready for anything once your kids hit the highways. Good luck!

1 comment:

  1. Great post Kathy! I've had three pass through driving initiation. I would suggest also talking about:

    1. No driving with friends in the car for at least a year or two. Teenagers in the car increase risk for a wreck.
    2. Always wear a seat belt
    3. No texting or cell phone calls while driving
    4. Discussion of alcohol and driving