This is part of a compensated program with DiMe Media and Allstate Foundation. As always we’re passionate about the topic and our views are completely our own.
The more I survey parents of teenagers or older kids (age 10 and up), the more I realize that the biggest fear they have is associated with their teen learning to drive. For a parent it’s not only watching their baby continue to grow up and be more independent, but it’s the fear of not being able to control their kids once they get behind the wheel of a car. Working with the Allstate Foundation on the organization’s Teen Summer Driving Safety campaign has made me aware that there is a process that starts way ahead of driving age that can strongly reduce the parental fear and save lives.
What is the NUMBER ONE WAY TO REDUCE PARENTAL FEAR ABOUT TEEN DRIVING? C O M M U N I C A T I O N. Talking with your teen early about safety.
Our amigos at the Allstate Foundation have created a series of extremely helpful bilingual tips to help your family get started on this process.
Top Tips for TEEN Driving Preparation
- Start talking about safe driving at least 2 years before your teen is legally able to drive
- Make sure you’re modeling safe driving habits- they’re watching you!
- Put away cell phones, lower the radio, reduce your speed
- Don’t speed through yellow lights! I must admit I’m stopping at lights as they’re changing more than ever before.
- Actually fully STOP at STOP signs, talk about the difference between Yield and STOP (I just did this with 13-year olds and it’s a good discussion)
- Have an agreement in place. Use the Allstate Driving Agreement with your teen. Setting expectations is so important and can literally save lives.
- Start off slow… look for empty parking lots and low traffic streets for practice
- Really mentally prepare to dedicate time to working with your teen on their driving skills. Consider this your new ‘potty training’ that needs real focus for success!
- Mentally prepare the consequences if your joint expectations aren’t met
I don’t think any amount of communication and preparedness will ever fully remove a parent’s worry once their child starts driving- but having a solid plan can help. When kids are older we often take it for granted that they can take more care of themselves. But… good driving skills take time. Modeling good behavior takes time. Ongoing communication takes time and focus. Are you ready? You must be! You also need to think through the consequences if your teen driver doesn’t meet the expectations you’ve set together. For example, if your limit for passengers in the car is three but you find out that they had five in the car- then what? You should have real consequences for missed behavior ready so that it’s not a surprise and you actually do what you said- this is key!
This topic can go on but the best ideas, solutions and bilingual information really are on the Allstate Foundation site: http://tenyearsofdrivingchange.com/resources.
And, HURRY- the Foundation is running an Instagram Sweepstakes through July 3 that includes prizes up to $1000! Details about the giveaway are on the site.
Be safe and share your tips with us below…
As a mother of twin tweens in 2011 and an active Girl Scout Troop leader, Cristy realized there was a need to develop bilingual digital content and foster a community facing the challenges of raising kids after first grade. That year she founded and remains co-Publisher of Los Tweens & Teens, to support multicultural parents and mentors with content related to raising Gen Z- tweens & teens ages 7-18. Through the Los Tweens & Teens LIVE events such as Teens & Me – the growing team aims to provide our community with essential resources from chats with therapists to battle anxiety and bullying, to understanding social media and technology.
A New Jersey native of Cuban decent, Cristy is a board member of Amigos For Kids – a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing child abuse in the South Florida community. She is a teenage cancer survivor and speaks nationally at conferences and volunteers with cancer-awareness organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of South Florida.