Now that we’ve covered some of the basics to help you adjust to this new parenthood chapter of having a teen driver, we wanted to feature some tips to help you navigate these first years of having a teen driver who has their first job.
We know that it can be a challenge for a teen who is a new driver with a job to handle the demands of school, friends, and family. Some of this will depend on the teen’s maturity level as well as their ability to prioritize all of their responsibilities, but we also wanted to provide some tips to help your teen and you adjust during this new stage in life.
Establish clear guidelines for your teen’s job responsibilities before they start.
We know that there are all sorts of jobs available these days, so it’s important to clearly establish boundaries for your teen. Is driving part of their responsibilities? How many hours per day can they work? How many days per week is ok to work? What if the demands of their job interfere with school or extracurricular activities?
Remember that even though the demands of work may seem overwhelming to your teen, they will likely still be expected to fulfill their responsibilities with school and friends. When you’re trying to find a balance between your teen’s job and all of these other responsibilities, it’s important not to overlook asking them about their schedule at home.
Discuss how many days of work per week seem reasonable for your teen.
You can start by finding out what days of the week your teen will be working. You should also ask how many hours per day they’ll be expected to work, and if it seems excessive, you can always talk with their manager about adjusting things.
Beyond this, make sure that you are checking in with them frequently to find out how everything is going. It’s easy to get caught up with your own schedule or other responsibilities, so be sure that you are checking in with your teen on a regular basis.
Most importantly, listen to what they tell you about their job and how it’s going. Although it may not always seem like the most fun thing to do, listening is one of the most important ways that you can help your teen adjust during this time.
Establish some guidelines for your teen for using their phone while they’re at work.
As we all know, the use of cell phones has become more and more prevalent in our society. As a result, many teens use them to keep up with friends, check on family members, or even to take care of some business.
For the most part, it’s a good idea for your teen to have their phone on them while they’re at work, but we also know that teens tend to check their phones often. This can be distracting when they’re trying to complete important tasks such as driving or working on the cash register.
To help keep this distraction to a minimum, you should establish some guidelines for your teen regarding their phone. For example, they can leave their phone in the car when they’re working (provided it’s not against company policy). Or maybe they can have someone else cover for them if they need to use the restroom or take a break.
Install a family tracking app to help you track your teen during work hours.
There are some great family tracking apps on the market these days that you can use to help keep track of your teen while they’re at work. This is another strategy for keeping them safe while they’re driving, but it’s also a good way for you to stay in touch with them during their shift if needed.
You can also ask your teen to install this app on their phone so that you can keep track of where they are while they’re working. Some parents, for example, like to ask their teens if they can text them at the start and end of their shift so that they know when they arrived and when it’s time for them to head home.
You should always try to establish these guidelines before your teen starts their first job, but even if they’ve already begun working you should still take the time to have this conversation with them. The more open lines of communication that you can have with your teen, the better your relationship will be with them.