Teenage drivers. That phrase is enough to send you into cardiac arrest. It’s enough to make you realize that this day came faster than you thought it would and that you probably didn’t prepare.
Why did I decide to do a teen driving contract? Questions, my friend, questions. I started to really question myself to death with overbearing wonderment. Have you ever asked yourself these questions in regards to your teen driver?…
Does he/ she know everything that they need to know? What will happen if they get pulled over? What will they do if their friend asks them to do something in the car that they shouldn’t? What if they get in an accident? What if they get lost? What if they speed? Am I prepared as a parent for them to drive? What else can I discuss with them to make sure they understand how important this is?
Those are just a few of the questions that a parent might have to ask themselves when they have a teenage driver. This is something that has happened in our family as of late. We have a teenage driver, who as of recent has their own car to drive. I am sure that other parents would agree that this is one of the most scariest things a parent might have to go through.
I started wondering what would be a good way for us (parents) and our teen driver to all be on the same page? What did we want our teen driver to know in regards to driving and to the responsibility of the car? What would allow us to have an open discussion regarding driving and the responsibility of a car? What was something tangible, that we could use not just once, but as a continuing piece in our discussion with our teen driver?
Of course, me being me, I thought about a contract ( I love them). So I did a search on Pinterest and found several options. You can do a search for ‘teen driving contracts’ or ‘driving contract for teens’ to find some examples of some. This is a good place to start to look up examples of various contracts. You can find good examples of wording and it will give you a good idea of things to consider to put in the contract.
One of the contracts that I found and liked can be found here. I used this as the basis for my contract. I made a few changes to the contact, but for the most part, I kept it verbatim the way that it was.
Driving Contract Coverage
So what are some things that one might consider to put in their contract for their teenager? That’s a personal question that you as a parent have to think about, but you might consider points such as;
- Car Maintenance
- Cell Phone
- Driving Boundaries
- Payment (if applicable)
In our contact, I pretty much covered all of these. Some of the topics I changed up a bit, but still hit on it.
A good suggestion would be to take the time to list what you think would be valid points to cover in your contract. Search online, as mentioned before, to see different examples of driving contracts. Then, take the time to make your own. Type it up and then edit it. If you are a two parent household, have your spouse, read over it to make sure you both are in agreement.
Talking with Teen
I knew that my teen was probably not going to be thrilled to have this discussion. But, it was something that had to be done. We all sat down and starting discussing the contract, one item at a time. At first, my teen said that a lot of the points were just common sense. I explained though that even things that should be common sense aren’t always applied in today’s world and that we wanted to be sure that everything was completely understand.
We also of course went over some things in more detail. For example, we purchased the Verizon Hum to install in the vehicle. We explained to our teen why we did it and the features of it. This is something that our teenager would need to know in case of emergency reasons. We also explained our layout for the monthly payment. Our teen is responsible for paying us a certain amount each month. Now, not everyone will do that and that is fine. We just felt it was a good way to teach a sense of responsibility.
When you do decide to sit down and discuss the contract, take your time. Let it be a time when all parties can be there and be present in the moment. Read over each one and allow for discussion of each point. Your teen may have questions, so you want to be able to take that time to talk freely. Also, your teen may not be happy about the contract and may show it. Keep your cool. Remember, at one time, you were a teenager and weren’t happy with the things that your parents did, but some things have to be done. If they have a negative attitude, don’t let it affect yours.
I really don’t think anybody is ever fully ready for their child to drive. I know I was not. The thought scared me. It still scares me. But, at some point they have to and as parents we want to give them the tools necessary to not only be successful in their driving, but SAFE.
If you are in the same position, I encourage you to consider the driving contract for your teenager. I’m not saying that it is going to solve your problems. But, it gives you something to go over and have an active discussion on. Also it serves as a reference point for something to review back over from time to time. If one of the stipulations is violated by the teen, you can bring it out and go back over that point. This is especially good because the teen has to own up to their responsibility because you have previously went over this contract in detail.
I have included an example of the one that we used. It is in PDF format. Teen Driving Contract
So, what do you think, are contracts good tools to use with your teenager?
Leave a comment below.