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Parents: Get involved with your teen drivers

Dear parents

Even though your teenage sons and daughters try to ignore what you say—they still appreciate your guidance. If you lead by good examples, they will follow. Your parenting style can greatly influence as to whether or not your child avoids or takes part in risky behaviors.

However, that’s not quite enough. If you don’t talk on the cell phone while driving and don’t text while driving – you will need reasons as well as tools as to why your teens should not be participating in distracted driving behaviors.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Set boundaries and clear expectations vs. the old and trite “do as I say not as I do” speech
  2. Ensure they have been exposed to driver education & training
  3. Let your teen drivers know you are available for support not criticism and punishment
  4. Know where your teens are and who they are with and what time you expect them to be where they say are and back at home
  5. Lead by example: Don’t speed. Don’t talk on the cell phone while driving. Don’t engage in distracted driving behaviors like fiddling with the GPS, eating & drinking while driving, etc. Wear your seatbelt at all times.

Of course, your teen will have rebuttals for all your safe driving suggestions but hey, you’re the parent, you will have responses to their responses.

Kids testing limits is part of growing up, and so is good parenting.