Teens and driving - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: What is your family's situation regarding teens and driving?
My teen does not have a license or a car. 8 80.00%
My teen has a license but not a car. 3 30.00%
My teen drives my car. 5 50.00%
I pay ALL of my teen's car payments and insurance. 4 40.00%
I pay PART of my teen's car payments and insurance. 1 10.00%
My teen pays ALL his/her own car payments and insurance. 0 0%
I do not allow my teen to own or drive a car. 5 50.00%
Our family does not own a car. 0 0%
My teen is not interested in owning a car. 1 10.00%
Other 6 60.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 29 Old 05-14-2002, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What do you all think about teenagers and driving? Personally it scares me. I didn't even get my license until I was 21.
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#2 of 29 Old 05-15-2002, 12:52 AM
 
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Well, being that I'm the first voter it's obvious how I voted...we do not allow a license/car.

In my state a teenager may get their license at the age of sixteen. I think this is wayyyy too young. My ds will be 18 in 5 months and will be getting his license then.

He was not allowed to drive in the car with a friend until they had 3 months driving experience (I wanted 6 months but dh thought that was ridiculous : ). And *IF* we pay for ds's insurance we'll have the same stipulation...he cannot have any passengers until he has driven for 3 months.

There is so much more traffic, road rage, cell phone distractions that the roads are becoming frightening if you ask me. I swear I witness at least one drive through a red light per week.
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#3 of 29 Old 05-15-2002, 11:40 AM
 
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Here in Az. you can get a driving permit at the age of 15years 7 months and you can have the permit for 1 year then if you want to drive you MUST get a drivers license.
I have told my teens they can get their permit at 16years 7months or later depending on attitude , respect , and grades....They will NOT be able to drive without an adult over the age of 25years during the permit stage ( my rule ) they could could legally drive with a 16yearold that has a license ( scarey thought) .
They are not allowed to ride with a driver under the age of 20years( until they turn 18years and can make that choice themselves) ,if caught they will loose the chance to get their permit at 16.7years.There are way too many accidents and red light runners here in Az.
I am doing what I can to keep my teens safe they do not like my rules but do respect them .
When they do get their license they will have to pay for their insurance if they want to drive for pleasure vs work, school and pay for gas and maintence on the vehicle they wil NOT be able to buy a car until they graduate from high schoool .
I
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#4 of 29 Old 05-15-2002, 11:53 AM
 
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I got a hardship license at age 15. My father is blind and has a heart condition, and my mother has arthritis, plus she was commuting from 150 miles away (long story) so my dad and I were by ourselves most of the time.

I got my regular license as soon as I turned 16. I'm now 23 and have had only one accident that was my fault, and it was VERY minor (involving one parked car and one car just barely moving).

My family depended on my being able to drive. If I hadn't been able to get my license when I did, I don't know how we would have survived. I had to go to school, I had to take my dad to the doctor, I had to do the grocery shopping, we had to pick up my mom at the bus station, we had to take the clothes to the cleaners, I had to go to project meetings at classmates' houses, and on and on and on. My being able to drive made all of that possible.

And yes, my parents paid for all of my car expenses. Since the only reason I was driving was to drive them around because they couldn't, it would have been very unfair to make me pay for it myself. They wouldn't have let me get a job even if I had wanted one, anyway; they wanted to be sure my grades stayed up.

My parents also bought me a late model used car when I was 16. SO MANY people told me I was spoiled. They had no idea what they were talking about. Except for driving to and from school, I nearly always had my father in the car with me. It really was HIS car for the first two years and I was just the driver!

They paid all of my insurance until I graduated from college and got a job, then I started paying it myself. I've taken good care of this car and seven years later it still runs great, and is the only car my sweetie and I have between the two of us. Owning a car free and clear has been a great head start for me.

Does this mean I will automatically let my teenager drive as soon as humanly possible and give her a car when he/she is sixteen? No, because our family situation will be different. People need to take into consideration that other families' situations are different from theirs before they start to make generalizations about allowing ALL 16- (or 15- or 18-) year-olds to drive. My parents depended on their teen driver. Maybe other people are in that situation, too.

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#5 of 29 Old 05-15-2002, 12:17 PM
 
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In a couple of year, Texas teens will have to wait until they are 18 to get drivers licenses! WOOHOOO!!!! They will still be able to drive to and from after school activities and work, but they will not be allowed to transport people under 21 other than their own siblings in a vehicle.

I like it! - no peer pressure to get a juiced up car, no running around at night with a carload of friends, and more time with the parents who now must drive them everywhere. It also puts a definate crimp in teen dating and face it, where do most teens first experiment with sex and/or drugs? Why in a car! Not that it will put a stop to it, but it will be somewhat of a deterrent.

At 18 kids can work and pay for their own insurance.

Edited to add: Hardship licenses for special circumstances will still be available. None of my kids will have a license or car until they are 18 anyway though.
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#6 of 29 Old 05-15-2002, 12:48 PM
 
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My oldest got his license at 16 and was allowed to use the family car. We paid the extra insurance, he paid part of his driver' ed. M second son paid part of his driver's ed. , but after his first road lesson, decided not to get his license. He is now 21 and still has no interest in getting it. Luckily he lives in a city with a subway system. My DD is now 16 and has paid for part of and taken her driver' ed. but is dragging her feet on getting her permit, which is fine with me. When she does she will be allowed to use the family car but will not have her own.

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#7 of 29 Old 05-15-2002, 02:17 PM
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My ds got his license at 16 and drove our nine year old SUV (we had just bought ourselves a new car), and he pays for his own insurance. The only problem with getting a license at 18 is that many kids will be away at college and you either have no control or ability to set limits, or they will not get any driving experience at all before they are completely on their own. It depends on your child too, some are just more responsible than others. I am glad that ds will have a lot of driving experience when he leaves home, I had very little actual driving experience until after college, and I got my license when I was 17. I think it is very important to set limits from the beginning and make it clear what the consequences will be if they don't follow the rules, that and you pray, A LOT!!
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#8 of 29 Old 05-17-2002, 03:28 PM
 
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My 17 yo dd has her license and got it after taking driver's ed and completing 50 hours of driving per Kansas law with a licensed adult (her step dad & I). 10 of those hours had to be at night. She had been 16 for several months prior to earning her license.

We bought dd a $600 car (so you can imagine what it looks like ) although it is in my dh's & my names.

She has to pay for gas, insurance and personal property tax. Paying her own insurance also serves as another motivation for keeping good grades since she has a good student discount.

Gotta hope that you taught them well and trust that they will have good judgement.

I'm not for waiting until 18 to get a license for many of the same reasons glh states.

Those of you without teenagers age 14 and older - never say never....you will be amazed at how much driving you do when they start activities in high school. You will be RELIEVED to have them driving themselves (as long as you can trust them and know that they will be level-headed while driving).
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#9 of 29 Old 05-17-2002, 10:26 PM
 
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Hoping our children have good judgment does not make for safe driving IMHO.

What about all the other cars on the road? What if they don't have good judgment while they're driving along side your son/daughter? Maturity does play a very important part in getting behind the wheel.

Just because my 17-year-old doesn't have his license does not mean he'll have any less experience. In fact, I believe the opposite to be true. If we (my dh and I) are driving with him until he's allowed to drive solo (when he gets his license at 18) then he's getting more experience. Two more years of driving! Letting them drive alone at 16 with the hopes that they'll "get more experience" is a bit risky for me.

But like I said, it's just my humble opinion.
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#10 of 29 Old 05-18-2002, 09:14 AM
 
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Yeah - it isn't MY kids I'm worried about it is all the other bozos on the road -

In the past 5 years my two oldest have been to 7 funerals for friends - 5 of those were due to car accidents that were not the childs fault. That is more funerals than I have been to in my lifetime! (Yes, I went with them - and perhaps thats where my aversion to their driving comes from)

Add to that my being hit by a drunk driver at 70 mph head on on my way home from work about 8 years ago...

And they essentially have no desire to drive anyway...
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#11 of 29 Old 05-18-2002, 03:37 PM
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Well, my ds just turned 18 and he's had his license for 1 1/2 years. He took driver's ed from a private company and drove with me or dh while he had his permit for 6 months. I still don't think driving with a parent is the same kind of experience as driving on your own. But having said that, my ds has always been mature and responsible for his age. I will see how ds5 and dd1 are when they are that age, it could be a different story. Other people on the road will always be an issue no matter how old they are and how much experience they have. Believe me, having been through the unbearable agony and pain of losing a child (my 3 1/2 month old son-15 years ago) I do not take any of this lightly. I wait up for him everytime he goes out and he always has a cell phone with him to call us for any reason. We made tough rules concerning his driving and curfews and we make sure to enforce them as best we can. If they don't have a license you can bet they will want to get rides from friends who do and they may not always tell you if they do that. Personally, I know and trust my ds's driving skills more than his friends' driving skills.
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#12 of 29 Old 05-18-2002, 04:23 PM
 
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glh, I understand what you mean about trusting your own child's driving over his/her friends. That makes total sense.
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#13 of 29 Old 05-18-2002, 04:41 PM
 
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I trust my daughter's driving more than her friends' driving, too.

And glh has it right that no matter how old they are, the hazards are there. The more experience they have at learning how to deal with the hazards, the better. We limited WHERE my dd drove and how many passengers she had for the 1st 6 months she had her license.

I, of course, wait up till she is home safely. She has a cell phone to use in case of emergencies.

Of course, no one can be 100% safe, no matter whether they are driving, walking, riding a bike, flying in an airplane, etc.
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#14 of 29 Old 05-24-2002, 07:33 PM
 
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We have two soon to be 16 year old ds. They say they want to drive but I have not seen them trying to get their license or a car. They need to pay for their driver's ed. and half of the car up to a predetermined amount. They will also have to pay 1/2 the insurance. neither of them have a job so I think we are safe for awhile.
I really don't mind driving them around. We have some of the most wonderful conversations in the car.It is just me and them in the car. They seem to feel less inhibited while we are driving. This is just what works for us.
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#15 of 29 Old 12-24-2002, 02:52 AM
 
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We dont' have any rules, but our teens had the choice to pay for driver's ed and insurance at 16, or wait till they were 18 and then only had to pay for insurance. They choose to wait. Our 15 dd may decide differently. I would miss our talks while driving together.

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#16 of 29 Old 12-24-2002, 03:59 PM
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I started teaching my daughter how to drive when she was 6 or 7, steering around a parking lot after soccer games. Now she's almost 10 and can drive pretty well, although she's limited to driving around the farm here and I always sit next to her. She's also already a hair until 5 feet tall. I feel pretty confident that by 16 she'll be a really comfortable driver. OTOH, Ib never sat behind the wheel of a car until I was 15 1/2, and I was a pretty cruddy driver for the first 6 months or so, just because so many things about driving were still things I had to consciously think about - I didn't have the experience.

I grew up drinking wine with dinner if I wanted it (my brother and I had our own small glasses), and being free to try other alcoholic drinks. Neither of us did much stupid crazy stuff with drinking when we were in our teens and early twenties, compared to our friends. We'd had anough experience with drinking that we kind of knew what to expect and it wasn't a big thing.

I could by wrong, but I'm hoping driving works the same way for Rain. Ask me in ten years, I guess...

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#17 of 29 Old 12-27-2002, 03:03 PM
 
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Dar, I think your theory makes a lot of sense. I never worried about my kids being reckless drivers, because they had plenty of pratice before driving alone. My son-in-law, OTOH, never settled down with his driving untill his son was born! For him I think driving was a rebellious outlet. I do think it all comes back to parent-child relationships, and how we have treated our children all along.

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#18 of 29 Old 12-30-2002, 03:03 PM
 
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Dar--

that makes me feel funny! that's MY name! (short for Daryl.)

I have a just turned 17 yo dd. she got her permit a few months after turning 16 (here in MA), drove with me for a while, gradually getting out on busier roads. She is required to take 12 classes, did that (I paid, she probably could've taken them for free in pub school, if she went). Then she is also required to take, 8, i think it is, road lessons. Well, the one teacher for one of those just basically sat back and listened to his loud metal station for an hour, while she drove all over town. I shiver to think of her, green and nervous, "learning" to drive from him. She lost all interest in driving after that lesson. I feel bummed, as I thought she could do errands, drive herself to her job (not that she has one), etc.

When she turns 18, she will not be required to take state approved lessons or classes to get her licence. I think she is waiting for that. As a homescooled kid, she knows what a diff a good teacher (me) can make.

Maybe next dd, fast approaching 15, will be different about it. she is more forceful, more of a doer. I already let her drive around our very quiet neighborhood now and then.
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#19 of 29 Old 01-01-2003, 04:49 AM
 
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my dd (who's just turned 16) has a little 'round the parking lot exp with her dad, & we're just waiting for the right confluence of energies to take her to the DMV for her permit (I had to send for a birth cert.- where did the other one go?- I need to go & sign things, we need either my dh to get a Fri. off & take the babies, or her dad to come with us & take the babies once my dh gets his truck fixed so I have the car big enough for 2 car seats, ETC. See? Confusing!)

No extra on the insurance for 6 months till she gets her intermediate licence, & we'll see about that- it's about 600 more a year, & she gets about that in allowance, so we can barter, or she may want a job... she will prolly hit up her trust fund for a car at 17, so I'll get to go to court & petition for that (LOVELY- there's a senile judge who barely let her get braces, even w/ dh's insurance paying half! I don't look forward to it.)

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#20 of 29 Old 01-01-2003, 10:23 AM
 
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As cars are the number cause of death in teenagers, I felt it a bit like reckless endangerment for me to support our children getting their licences until they were as old as possible and needed, not wanted, to drive. What does a car do for a teenager? Do any of them use it to go to the library? Does the world need more pollution? My SO, addicted to cars, fought me on this issue so though they got their permits late and their licences late it was still earlier than I wished so I have rules about driving like no more than one passenger and require them to help pay costs.

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#21 of 29 Old 01-17-2003, 06:19 PM
 
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I'm all for swapping the driving age and the drinking age in the U.S.--drink at 16 and drive at 21. That way, kids could learn responsible drinking habits before they become accustomed to driving themselves as a primary form of transportation. Impulsive young people wouldn't be entrusted with operating potentially lethal machinery. Parents could teach their kids responsible drinking habits before they go away to college, without risking criminal charges. Tax dollars wouldn't be wasted on providing gigantic parking lots for high schools. The overall number of drivers would be smaller, reducing pollution and traffic. Drivers' ed wouldn't take up high school class time.

I'm appalled by the number of people who, when I suggest this, say, "But that would be so inconvenient for parents! Then they'd have to drive their kids around to all their activities." Seems to me that's another benefit--parents maintaining interaction w/their teens! But, as we all know, some people think that caring for or interacting with their own children is a terrible burden. :

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#22 of 29 Old 01-17-2003, 06:36 PM
 
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YOu know what Becca,
That make a hell of alot of sense.

I guess we did not let our son drive until he was 18 because of just that reason.

At 16, MOST, I know not all, kids are just starting to hang out and "party" with there friends. We just figured that most likely Jon was going to experiment with drinking and the like, why throw tha in with driving..

I kn ow that sounds crazy but I was NEVER one to think,"Not my kid". I have had three neighbors who always thought, not my kid and all the kids have wrecked while drinking or parting before they were 18.

JOn went and got his license the day he turned 18. We paid for six months of insurance and paid for 1/2 of his car. He worked since 16 to pay his half. He has wrecked twice in six months. Luckly not when drinking or partying. Once in the rain at my folks house, right into their car!!!

He now has to ay his own insurance. This has worked for us. Now Kait and Kaci are both saving fo their 1/2 of a car!!! They realize they will not drive until 18. They are not about it but they have accepted it.

Dad and brother are teaching both to drive now.

I know many peole let thier kids drive right at 16. That is great if it works for your family. We just thought it was best if they waited.
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#23 of 29 Old 01-17-2003, 07:15 PM
 
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They all drive most of our cars...the "kid" car is my '85 Volvo 760...it's a tank, which hereabouts is a good idea. We have actual winter and the driving can get kinda hairy. That car is heavy!

My youngest is 18 and a senior in high school, and drives to school, when his brother, 22, who works at the local ski center has days off. Older bro has his '83 Volvo stationwagon, but it needs work which he is doing slowly and surely...but it is under about 4 or 5 feet of snow just now...so they have to share.

Middle kid college student daughter who just turned 20, has had to drive Dad's Toyota Echo to work a couple times because my Volvo was at the ski mountain, or at the high school, so I guess I have no choice but to trust. But really, they are really careful.

They lost a friend to a drunk driver last winter, and it was tragic. My kids will always think twice before getting fancy with driving. And driving drunk will never be a problem with them....and yes, I AM sure of that. But not all the area kids that were touched by this loss are as wise about the lesson they got from this tragedy. (It amazes me, frankly, that so many forgot so much so fast.)

We do pay the insurance for all, but when my son gets his Volvo on the road in Spring, he will be responsible and that is what he wants....and I am glad. It is time for that, for him.

Every kid is an individual case and maturity is a relative thing...I know adults who really don't get it and that really scares me more than anything. I live in a ski tourist area and the skiers all have SUV's yet, many of them have no clue about driving such a rig... but that is for another discussion...Joyce in the mts.

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#24 of 29 Old 01-23-2003, 11:47 PM
 
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Well I voted no car ect but my dd is only 13 so she can't get one yet anyway. Although she is a teen :-) so qualifies for the poll.

When she is old enough to drive in our state, we will pay for the drivers ed, and insurance and eventually give her a car. I'm glad that we are able to do that for her. I haven't thought about specific driving restrictions at this point. We will probably limit passengers until she has had enough driving practice to be comfortable.
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#25 of 29 Old 01-31-2003, 03:05 PM
 
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I just thought of this thread in connection with a story in the local news. We wanted to see how the media covered our local peace march, so we watched 2 news shows on different stations, and both covered this other story:

A local high school basketball star "died in a freak accident", according to the first station. It was "a senseless tragedy". They spent several minutes describing his athletic achievements, popularity at school, etc., but this was the extent of their description of the accident: "He died of blunt force trauma to the head while backing his truck out of a driveway." : The second station gave the story the same basic treatment, but they described the accident slightly more: "He opened the door of his truck in order to see while backing out of a driveway. The door struck a pillar and was pushed into the driver's compartment."

Tragedy? Yes. Accident? Yes. Senseless, *freak* accident? No. If one cannot see out the back window well enough to back up, one cannot see well enough to drive on the street. Opening the door and craning one's head out of it is not a safe way to solve the problem; one should scrape the window or move the stuff in the back of the truck or remove whatever is the visual obstacle. It seems to me that this is just the sort of situation in which responsible news outlets should provide an infographic about what happened and have a driving safety expert say a few words about how to prevent this type of accident. Impressionable teenagers watching this story (and there must have been at least a hundred--his classmates) would thus learn an important lesson about safe driving, just at the moment when they're most likely to take it seriously.

I realize it would be upsetting to his family and friends to see him presented as an example of What Not To Do. But wouldn't that be less upsetting than seeing other people die in the same way because they didn't know any better?

What do you all think--am I way off base here?

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#26 of 29 Old 04-27-2003, 05:01 PM
 
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I have posted my learning-to-drive experience elsewhere apropros of SUV's etc. (top of this page =>)

http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...0&pagenumber=5


A friend once was telling me of his woes with his daughter and driving. I suggested giving her fancy defensive driving courses as a gift at a nearby race course (racing was part of the program). He reacted as if I had just said she should take up crack. I spent the next twenty minutes getting him to understand what was really in a couse like that. I still think he should have done it. I think she would have enjoyed it and learned a lot. And I think he is not a good driver himself.

Frankly, I don't think drivers ed courses cover nearly enough. I also think EVERYONE should learn to drive a standard. It is NOT too difficult and if it were, that person shouldn't be driving.

Ideally, we would all live somewhere with decent public transport so we wouldn't need cars. Yeah, right.:


edited to add: EnviroBecca...I live by two mottos (well, more really, but these two are foremost in my mind right now) 1-- A smart person learns from one's mistakes, a wise person learns from others' mistakes. 2-- In order to have been old and wise one must have once been young and stupid. --- I definately would use horror stories like that to teach my son. A really scary thought is that those large trucks and suv's are turning up in the used car market now...just in time for teens with little driving experience and none of it in using exterior mirrors to purchase them and haul lots of friends around in something with a high center of gravity.
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#27 of 29 Old 05-03-2003, 02:01 PM
 
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My 17 y/o DD has her drivers license but WILL NOT drive without me or her father in the car.
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#28 of 29 Old 05-03-2003, 06:39 PM
 
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Do you all remember being 16??!!

We have to take drivers ed here to get a drivers liscense before 18.. But you have to be 16 to take your drivers ed class (or something odd like that) So i did.. I got my drivers liscense when i was 16.. I have never.. (knock on wood) been in an accident.. I drove my family's cars until i moved out at 19... I bought my own car at 22..

I'm just wondering if you all remember 16.. Remember the urge to be away from your parents.. Even the most Ap kids HAVE to want time to be with their friends as who they are.. With out worrying about parental constraints..

We live in a rural community.. When our boys are big enough to see over the steering wheel, and reach the pedals all properly dh and i will teach the boys to drive.. We will always be in the car when they don't have their liscense.. Once they do get their liscense they will already know how to drive.. Will i worry?? Probably, but it is all part of growing up... Growing away from your parents....

This is when your children are becoming adults.. I say let them become who they are ... When our boys are old enough.. They will take the classes needed and they will be allowed to get their liscenses.. Because they deserve that freedom and much as I did when i was 16...

That said.. Both of my sisters (25 and 18 in 2 weeks) did not get their liscenses at 16.. They didn't want to and driving with our dad's wife made them crazy.. No one forced them to get it, but no one said they couldn't either..

Just thought i would throw my .02 in here..

Warm Squishy Feelings...

Dyan

It's lonely being the only XX in a house of XYs.
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#29 of 29 Old 05-06-2003, 07:00 PM
 
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Yes, Pynki, I vividly remember being 16. I had those urges to get away, and I did it using my FEET. We lived near the edge of a very spread-out town; I would walk to stores or friends' houses (generally walking on the shoulder and scaling fences and having other adventures because it's a pedestrian-unfriendly town) or wander the prairie out past the city limit stepping around the prickly pears. Far better, IMO, to take those risks than to take the much higher risk of killing myself and/or others by operating a two-ton machine, especially when angry or preoccupied!

I think the idea that driving is the only way to be free and independent and that 16-year-olds "deserve" that freedom is a very American concept promoted by advertisers. I don't see any reason why I should buy into it.

Mama to a boy EnviroKid treehugger.gif 9 years old and a new little girl EnviroBaby baby.gif!

I write about parenting, environment, cooking, and more. computergeek2.gif

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