- By Jana Rhodes
- Posted May 15, 2015
Is Your Teen Ready for a Drivers Permit?
One of the scariest moments of your parenting journey is the day your teenager is handed a driver’s permit. In your years of teaching and correcting her, there were times that she listened well and times that she didn’t. Now you must sit beside her in a car and put your life in her hands as you hope she follows your instructions. Is she ready?
There are a few characteristics you can evaluate to decide if it is time to start driving.
Ability to Control Emotions
The teenage years are a time of high emotion. While some of this is normal and manageable, other teens have little control over their emotional reactions. How does she react when she doesn’t get her way? Is she able to let things go when offended? You would not want to put her in the stressful situation of reacting to other drivers if she can’t reasonably manage her behavior under these conditions.
Ability to Make Good Judgments
Your teen’s ability to make wise decisions is an important factor. Driving often requires split-second judgments. Your teen should show constant awareness of her surroundings and the ability to predict and react to the actions of others. If your teen is a risk-taker, you might want to let her mature a little before putting her behind the wheel.
Ability to Obey Rules
Many teens see rules as optional suggestions. It may feel like a rite of passage to rebel, but the road is no place to make up your own regulations. No teen is perfect, but if you find yourself saying “what did she do this time?” often, she is probably not ready for a permit. Another clue to examine is the way she handles peer pressure. If she shows the ability to “do the right thing” when her friends choose not to, she might have the maturity to begin driving.
Willingness to Drive
This might seem like an odd characteristic to look for, but the truth is that some teenagers are afraid of driving and don’t feel ready. It is important not to assume that they are excited to get a driver’s permit just because they are old enough. Have an honest conversation with your teen to find out how confident she feels about learning to drive right now.
As a parent, you know your child best and can make the best assessment of her readiness for driving. We hope these considerations can help you begin the process of evaluating your teen’s maturity in areas that are important to develop before they hit the road.
By: MOTOsafety Team