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I have a 14-year old son.  He is already counting the days until he turns 16 and can get his driver's license.  I am terrified!  I don't want to just cut him loose the night he turns 16.  Any suggestions?

Answer:

Better to think about this now instead of a week before his 16th birthday.  This way you can establish guidelines for the privilege of driving with plenty of time for him to get used to them.

Student pilots do a lot of practicing with their instructors in all kinds of conditions before they are allowed to fly solo.  You must be willing to spend time in the passenger seat while your son practices until you are comfortable (no small feat!).  Student pilots are not allowed to have passengers until they've flown many solo hours.  Passengers are an additional responsibility as well as a distraction so you might want to forbid passengers for several months after he gets his license.

Some other things to think about:
Wait awhile before allowing your young driver to drive unsupervised at night.
Tie the driving privilege to academic performance -- if grades suffer, limit driving.
Consider having your young driver contribute to paying for the increase in insurance costs.
Be clear about what the consequences are if the guidelines are broken.

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Last Updated 05.20.2002 | Email Parenting is Prevention | Privacy Policy