If you are a mom with children that have entered the teen years, you are undoubtedly dealing with a new set of parenting issues, from teenage angst, issues with peers, changing relationships and more. While all of that is probably enough to deal with alone, your teen will soon be behind the wheel of a car!
In the UK, you can apply for a provisional license at the tender age of 15 years and 9 months of age. You can apply for a full license at the age 17 for cars, and 16 for moped or motorbike licensing. Seems so young, right?
As a parent, you will have mixed feelings about your kids new found independence in addition to anxiety and worry over if they are safe and sound. This is completely normal. Here are a few ways to mentally prepare for the years ahead.
Know You Are Not Alone
Every parent goes through different emotions as their children enter different life stages. There is no right or wrong way to feel and if you are feeling all sorts of mixed and conflicted emotions, you must know that you are not alone. It is perfectly normal to have some degree of anxiety over your teenager being behind the wheel. Worry is a natural extension of parenthood and this stage of life will be no less worrisome!
Prepare Your Teen
You will want to ensure that you are setting your teenager up for success prior to scheduling his or her driving testing. There are many routes you can take when it comes to preparation. If you live in the UK, a great starting point is toptests.co.uk. They offer all kinds of free mock testing online to prepare your teen for the driving theory exam as well as the practical driving test. The point is, to ensure your teen is knowledgeable about driving, is aware of the rules of the road, and has had adequate driving school lessons.
Set Up a Driving Contract
This is a great way for parents to set out guidelines and some rules for new teenage drivers. You can stress the importance of keeping the contract with your teenager and there can also be a set of consequences that will occur if your teen breaks any of the rules of the driving contract. Things to consider for your contract are the following:
Will you permit driving at night time?
What about driving with your teen’s friends?
Will there be a set time when your teen must have the car home if you are restricting night time driving?
What are the consequences of breaking the contract?
No cell phone/texting promise
These are just a few things to consider when setting up a driving contract agreement with your teenager. You can add anything that you like, just ensure to stress to your teen that it’s really all about managing the important privilege of driving, while keeping your sanity as a parent!