Teen driver - FamilyEducation
Teen driver
12/05/2011 at 14:29 PM

My son turned 16 and we have given him the privilege to drive to school since he's in 11th grade.

My son makes straight A's and is a very good boy. Obviously, being 16, we do deal with attitude here and there. More and more he tells his dad and I that we need to get up with the times because "everyone else gets to do it..."

Where he goes to school, it does seem most of the parents let their kids drive anywhere, anytime, with anyone and for however long.

When we allowed our son to drive to school, it was to be to school only. But now it's constant wanting to go somewhere to do something. We don't want to seem so strict that he feels he can't do anything, but we don't want to just "turn him loose" either.

We do not want our son to get a job until he graduates at 17. However, we thought if there were ways he could feel like he's "working" to help pay for the extra gas, wear & tear on the car, etc, maybe we could let him drive more, so long as he follows the rules and curfews. Has anyone else done this with their teen that would be willing to give me ideas?

I don't think that works out. If he feels like he is somehow paying for the car, he will have more attitude about having a right to the car. It's your car, he's your kid, and attitude should get him FEWER privileges, not more. Tell him so. My kids have never even tried the 'everyone else is' argument, but I think if they did I'd make some smart comment like, "Well, that's just what makes me special."

It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Why not let him drive during certain hours and only to certain places if he can pay for gas or part of the insurance? I think working is a good thing for a lot of young people. Especially over the summer. If he has a license and nothing to do, and you are at work during the day, it will be too tempting to go joy riding etc.