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Is Your Teen Getting Ready to Drive?

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Is Your Teen Getting Ready to Drive?

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Is Your Teen Getting Ready to Drive?

I know we're not quite there yet. We have an 8 year old and a 10 year old. But believe me, I've already started thinking about it! I do have friends with teenagers and of course I can draw on my own experience as a teen too. You might want to keep these tips in mind before you give your kids that freedom and allow them this privilege...yes, because it is a privilege and not a right, as much as they would like to think otherwise.

  • The more they practice, the better. I still remember learning to drive my dad's stick shift. I happened to have a horse at the time, and the only way to get out to the stable was with that car and its stick shift. I honestly was terrified to stop at a stoplight or intersection, I really was. So, over the summer, my German grandfather, parked me behind the seat of his car and had me practice day in and day out on a little hill in the backyard. That's how I gained my confidence. I also drove a lot with my parents in tow. There is no better way to learn than actual driving hours. Keep that in mind when your child still has their learner's permit and they consistently pester you to go out driving with them.
  • Don't automatically give them a car. You will be missing a very valuable teaching moment, again about responsibility, delaying gratification and saving up for something before you go out and buying it. You can bet my kids will have afterschool jobs bagging groceries or whatever, to save up at least half of the cost of their car. Mom and dad pay half, kid pays half. Otherwise, they can share the family car, whenever you don't need it. Set these priorities from the get go.
  • Share the car owning responsibilities. You don't totally want to throw them to the wolves just yet, but if they want to be a grown-up and drive a car, then they need to be a grown-up and take some more responsibility. Have them buy their own gas and maybe you can pay for their insurance. Whatever the cost of car ownership, share the burden.
Those are, I think, the highlights of your teen and coming-of-driving age. USAA also has a good article about teens, driving and finances, and of how that goes hand in hand. Encourage your child to do well in school, as this can be a big help in lowering your car insurance, cause you know it is going to go up dramatically, just having a driving teen in the house!

What tips do you have about teens and driving? What valuable lessons did you learn from your parents? What did you not know then but you know now?

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3 Comments:

Blogger lauren said...

Raquel,
Thank God my children are not even close to driving. One is 8 and the other is 2 years old. My creepy issue is discussing the birds and the bees with the 8 year old. He said he looked at Gigi today "with love in his eyes." I said "don't be silly that wasn't love in your eyes, that was the sun." he didn't see the humor at all. ;-)

Lauren

March 17, 2008 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger BeezMom said...

When my daughter was that age, I said the same thing, however after a divorce and the pressure of "everyone else" having a car, I caved. It was hard to make her work to save money when she couldn't drive to get to a job. Anyway, she didn't get a new car, it is 10 years old, but reliable. She understands the rules and knows that one mess up and it is gone, so I pray that she will be OK.
I am not a military spouse, or anything like that, but I love your blogs and look forward to reading them. I admire you for all that you do.

God Bless

March 26, 2008 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Wow...thanks for the kind words..and good point. I hadn't thought of it from that angle!

March 27, 2008 at 1:17 AM  

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