Having your first teen driver in the household can bring about many emotions. On one hand, you’re happy and joyous that your teen made it this far and passed their driving test. On the other hand, you’re nervous that they’ll be out there on the road, driving without you watching over them.
It’s all too common for parents of teen drivers to have mixed emotions about this special day! We hope that we can lend some information that will encourage you to feel more pride and confidence about your child than worry and sadness.
Today we’re going to share some tips that will help you encourage your teen driver to be a more mindful driver out there in the real world.
Be the Role Model
The first step to ensuring that you’re raising a mindful driver is to be a mindful driver! You’ll want to show your teen how to be in the moment whenever you’re behind the wheel. Since distracted driving is one of the main causes of accidents, mindful driving is an imperative tool to teach teens.
Distracted driving isn’t just about putting the smartphone on silent when driving or eating food while driving, there are other ways a teen driver can be distracted. They could have their mind on other things or have passengers that are distracting them. Teach your teen how to be more present at the moment without distractions, and to be comfortable pulling over if they feel distracted at all.
Place Limits on Distractions
There are a few ways to place limits on distractions. Since your teen driver is still a minor child that’s under your direct supervision and guidance, you can place rules regarding driving the family vehicle. If your teen has their own vehicle, you can place rules on that as well!
Make sure your teen knows that their cell phone should be shut off or put on silent and placed in a compartment in the vehicle so that they’re not distracted by the lights or buzzing of their phone while driving. Make sure your teen limits eating food behind the wheel so they can stay focused on driving.
You may want to place a limit on how many passengers your teen driver can have in the vehicle. Some regions of the world have restrictions on how many passengers the new driver is allowed to have, check with your region to see what laws are in place for this and help your teen know the laws.
Make a Contract
Another way to keep your teen more mindful about how they drive and what type of distractions that let into the vehicle is to make a driving contract with your teen. This is a contract that you will create with your teen driver.
Both of you will sit down to discuss the various importance of being a driver and create a set of rules that the teen must abide by. This is a set of rules within the contract that both of you come to an agreement on and are set in stone regardless of whether your teen is driving their car or someone else’s car.
Be sure to make a contract with your teen so that they feel included, and list out consequences that are to be followed through with if your teen breaks any part of the contract. Having a teen driving contract will help your teen learn more about the consequences of having a license and being a mindful driver.
This is all we have for today to help you encourage your teen to be a mindful driver. We hope that the tips shared today help you move forward in this new chapter as parents so that your teen can have some responsibility and learn to be a safe driver out there on the road.