Wednesday, April 13, 2016

If you are going to nag your teen, nag them about this

My son really, really wants to start the car for me.

He is equal parts excited and unsure in this request. But excitement quickly overrules everything when I say yes.

He already has my car keys in his hand. He unlocks the car and sits in the driver's seat. He double-checks that I am watching him as he inserts the key and turns it until he hears the engine turn over. His face explodes in a huge grin and he hops out of the car to get into the backseat. On the way to school he tells me that he will be driving soon.

I am actually about a decade away from that reality and (no doubt) a lot will change in my relationship with my son between now and then. We will (hopefully) still have a special bond, but he will (probably) listen to me less. There is one thing that I should make sure is part of our relationship still: My instructions to him on safety.

It turns out that the extra conversations around teen safety and driving are worth nagging about. I can see how parental reminders around paying attention behind the wheel could be seen as nagging by teenagers, but it doesn't matter how that message gets through to them, as long as it gets through. Since I will probably annoy him when he becomes a teen anyway, I see this as a potential win situation.

What driving lesson do you emphasize with your teen? Tell me in the comments.

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