Parents must talk with their teens to set limits and determine
responsibilities, expectations and restrictions on the use of the
car. Parents do know better, and it's not until the teens reach
about age 25 that they will truly understand or appreciate the
actions taken by parents. Hence parents must withstand any backlash.
To reduce risk, parents can restrict the number of passengers
allowed in the vehicle, insist that their teen buckle up and do so
themselves. If a teen intends to be out after midnight, parents
should continue to do the driving. Crash statistics show that the
hours between midnight and 5 a.m. have the greatest number of
crashes and deaths from teen driver motor vehicle collisions.
Clearly it is better to lose some sleep than pick one's teen up at
the hospital or morgue. Parents can also discuss the use of the
radio or car stereo. Turn the radio on and discuss an acceptable
limit for the volume.
Lastly, don't let the tail wag the dog. Remember, it's your car,
your rules. Responsibility as a parent is for the safety of the
child until the child is truly independent.
To help parents discuss driving responsibilities and
expectations, there is a free Parent-Youth Safe Driving Contract
from the I Promise Program, a teen safe-driving initiative.
Parents are the path to the keys. Make the safe-driving contract
a step along the way.
[Gary Direnfeld, I
Promise Program executive director]
For more information:
* * *
Gary Direnfeld, M.S.W., R.S.W., is a social worker and expert on
matters of family life. He is in private practice with Interaction
Consultants, writes and provides workshops, and is the developer of
the I Promise Program teen safe-driving initiative.
Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider Direnfeld an expert on child
development, parent-child relations, marital and family therapy,
custody and access recommendations, social work, and an expert for
the purpose of giving a critique on a Section 112 social work
report. His opinion helps resolve child custody and access matters.
Direnfeld's services include counseling, mediation, assessments,
assessment critiques and workshops. Search his name on Google.com to
view his many articles or go directly to his website,
where you can see his qualifications, read his many articles and
view video clips of his many television appearances.