It seems like only 20-years ago that getting your driving licence was a rite of passage for all 17-year olds. The excitement when an older friend was the first person to get a driving licence. Loading up the car after school and simply driving around to kill the time and hang out. All the freedoms that came with it. No more relying on school transport to get to and from school.
As a mother, I know that my children will grow up and become adults someday, and they will probably want to get a licence. But, what if one of my kids expresses that they are not interested in driving or getting their driving license? Should I be concerned?
It can be hard to know, so this is for you parents out there!
While it may seem like a bad idea to push your kid to get their driving licence, sometimes they just need that little extra push of motivation to accomplish even the most basic tasks. Ultimately, you know your kid and you know if they are in need of extra motivation or if they are legitimately afraid of becoming a licenced driver.
- Freedom for both your teenager and yourself: When your kid gets their driving licence, they can enjoy their newfound freedom by being able to drive themselves to school, sports, and social gatherings. That can free up some time for you that you previously spent driving your kid around. You can use that extra time to run errands, take a class, pick up a new hobby, or simply have some extra time to rest.
- An opportunity to improve communication between you and your kid: Once your teenager gets their provisional driving licence, they are going to need to spend a good amount of time practicing their driving in preparation for their driving exam. This time spent practicing driving is an excellent opportunity for you and your teenager to spend some time together and for you to work on how you communicate with your kid.
- An opportunity to teach responsibility: Having a driving license and taking care of a vehicle takes a lot of responsibility. These kinds of responsibilities can teach lifelong lessons that can carry into adulthood. Driving safely is critical to your kid’s safety and the safety of their friends and family. This teaches them responsible behaviors like not driving too fast, not driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and not letting emotions get the best of them by getting angry at other drivers.
- Can help with family errands: Having another driver in the family to pick up a younger sibling from gymnastics, or to get some milk and eggs on the way home from school, can be extremely helpful.
- Knows how to drive in the event of an emergency:Knowing how to drive in case of an emergency is a life-long skill that hopefully never needs to be called upon. However, if an emergency does arise, it could be a matter of life or death if your teen does not know how to drive.
Pressuring a teenager to drive who is not ready mentally can cause your kid to be in a car accident which could harm them. Operating a motor vehicle comes with a lot of risks, and your kid is not ready to face their fears, it could lead to hesitation and a lack of confidence while behind the wheel.
Furthermore, if you constantly are pressuring them and arguing about the subject, it could harm your relationship. The teenage years are already difficult for both the parent and the child, and if the teenager does not feel like their parent is considerate of their feelings, it could lead to resentment.
And lastly, providing a teenager with a vehicle, helping them secure car insurance, and the regular maintenance costs that come with having an additional driver/vehicle in the family can become quite expensive.