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fValerie Offline
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My child's first car I'm so worried! - October 5th 2015, 08:55 AM

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I'm new to posting in forums but I desperately need advice. My son has recently received his driver license. I'm so worried about him driving and I can't be with him all the time. Does anybody use any tracking devices to monitor your teens driving? What kind of a device do you recommend?

Last edited by arepo; October 5th 2015 at 04:55 PM.
   
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Re: My child's first car I'm so worried! - October 5th 2015, 01:25 PM

Personally I would be really offended if my parents put a tracking device in my car. A car is a very big step in everyone's lives and it's a sign of growing up and trust etc etc. Maybe set a time table or just something simple like asking what time he'll be back home etc. Looking after your child is good, ever parent should but don't be over protective.
   
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Re: My child's first car I'm so worried! - October 5th 2015, 02:15 PM

But I think sometimes you need to control your child. You want to be aware that he's alright. Especially when he just beginner in driving. You want to know how he drives to be confident.
   
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Re: My child's first car I'm so worried! - October 5th 2015, 02:20 PM

Hey there,

First off, I just wanted to say that it's normal to be worried about your son being able to drive alone. Many parents are nervous to let their teens drive for the first time, but it's just another milestone that teenagers go through to becoming an independent adult.

As a teenager, my parents did not use a tracking device of any kind. I can't say that any of my friends were monitored by a device either. Using a tracking device sends the message to your son that you don't trust him at all. If he hasn't given you any reason to suspect he'll be using the car to drive to places you don't want him to go, then he may be upset if you decide to monitor him regardless of his good behaviour.

Rather than using a tracking device, I have alternate suggestions for you. First of all, I would sit down with your son and have a talk. If you have any rules about the car, make sure you bring them up and that he understands what is expected of him. If you are worried about his whereabouts, instead of using a tracking device, come up with an agreement to check in with each other. This requires trust on both sides. At 16 it isn't unreasonable to ask for your son to give you a quick text about where he's going or which friend he may be with.

If you are worried about his ability to drive, just remember...he passed a driving test! At this point he knows the basics of driving and someone qualified has tested him on his skills and decided he is capable of safe driving. It can be scary to think about how dangerous driving can be but if you have been in the car with him while he was practicing or he has taken lessons, trust that he will be okay if he is a responsible driver. When you are talking with him, go over what makes a a safe and responsible driver.

Getting your driver's license is an exciting part of growing up and becoming independent! I'm not a parent however, I understand many parents have a hard time letting their teen explore their new independence. It takes a lot of trust, but the best thing is to keep lines of communication open and accept that you can't (and shouldn't) monitor your teen's every move. Good parenting means having reasonable rules and structure and giving guidance but also letting your child try to do things for themselves. In the long run, this will shape your child to be an independent adult who has learned from their mistakes and have had the chance to experience the milestone's of growing up in a positive manner.

I hope this post helps a bit. Good luck with everything!
Take care. :]


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Re: My child's first car I'm so worried! - October 5th 2015, 05:15 PM

Hey there,

I remember my mom having very similar worries when I first got my drivers license. It's a perfectly normal fear and I think it's one that every parent has when their child reaches a significant milestone that will allow them greater freedoms.

When my parents told me that I was allowed to take the car whenever I wanted, I took it as a sign that they really trusted me. Because of that, I obeyed all of the rules that they had set because I didn't want to break their trust and lose the privilege of driving the car. If, however, I had found out that they had alternative means of checking up on me without my knowledge, it definitely would have changed a lot of things about our relationship. To be honest, I probably would have just found ways around their rules if I knew that their trust in me wasn't real. That's the thing with teenagers. When they really feel like they're being restricted, they find ways to rebel more than they would if they felt trusted.

Perhaps you can find different ways to remind your son that driving is a privilege, not a right. This will work especially well if he is driving your car or another family car, rather than his own. Even if he is driving his own car, I'm sure you had a hand in helping pay for it, which still gives you some say in what the car is used for. Sit down with your son and have a serious conversation with him about the rules and expectations you have for him as a new driver. These could include a curfew, a phone call if his plans change or if he will be out later than he originally intended, or a certain number of times he is able to use the car per week (if it is your car). Be open to his views on the subject too. If you can show him that you're willing to compromise when it comes to his driving, he'll be more likely to follow the rules that you come up with together and be more open about things if anything goes wrong.

My parents and I had A LOT of conversations about things like this when I first started driving, so you're free to PM me if you want any personal input from someone who was in your son's shoes not too long ago.

I hope this helped a little bit! Take care!


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Exclamation Re: My child's first car I'm so worried! - October 5th 2015, 07:46 PM

Congratulations on your son's success! I don't know how beneficial monitoring is but other things of consideration might be if he is ready to drive alone?
Sadly, the DMV's drive test is too easy and not a true gauge as to whether or not one is truly qualified to drive. The biggest argument would be.... why are there so many accidents every single day... especially on our freeways? A logical conclusion would be that many shouldn't have got their license in the first place! We live in a would of distraction through modern gadgetry and with the notion that everything in our lives has to be done fast! Some apply that notion while driving which could sometimes lead to dire consequences. Make sure he knows how serious driving is and don't be afraid to pull the plug if he doesn't listen. Remember.... you still have the power. This method may seem harsh but it might just be the wake up call he needs to drive safely at all times. I've been a licensed California Driving Instructor for close to 20 years.
(Thedrivingguru aka Thedrvingdoctor)
Please don't be discouraged by this advice and take it one day at a time.
Safe driving to all....
   
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Re: My child's first car I'm so worried! - October 5th 2015, 07:50 PM

By a tracker do you mean to see where he's going or just how safely he's driving? Here it's becoming more and more common for young people to have what are known as black boxes in their cars, which make sure they're driving safely (whether that be their own choice or their parents). This is because it can help to get lower insurance as younger people are considered riskier by insurers this allows those who are safe drivers to pay less. This doesn't mean the parents are able to see what their child is doing in the car, but they know they have to be safe otherwise the insurance company would know. I don't know whether you have anything like this in your country, but it could help with you worries somewhat? Whatever you do discuss it with your son first, don't do it without his knowledge or make it sound like you're laying down the law. Make him feel like you trust him and see him as adult enough to discuss the subject.


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Re: My child's first car I'm so worried! - October 5th 2015, 11:40 PM

As has been mentioned previously this worry is quite common of parents when their children pass the driver's test and are given the oppurtunity to drive.
I do not want to repeat the suggestions that have been made previously except to say that communication can go a long way with these sort of worries.
Setting boundaries is great for teens and so is being honest.
Give clear boundaries and the negative consequences that will occur if the rules are not followed (ie. giving your son a curfew that he does not follow for instance, or him not texting you when he arrives somewhere and is on his way home Etc.)
Hopefully this helps!
   
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Re: My child's first car I'm so worried! - October 6th 2015, 12:38 AM

With all due respect, let him spread his wings and fly - its time.
   
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Re: My child's first car I'm so worried! - October 6th 2015, 08:27 AM

Yes, I agree with you. He is grown up person and I have to give him more freedom in actions. But I found a device that can give an ability to have accident notifications in case something had happened. Because if something happens won't know this. What do you think?
   
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Re: My child's first car I'm so worried! - October 6th 2015, 01:04 PM

Honestly, I think that setting up clear boundaries for your son will be a way better solution. How would you feel if your parents had done something like this to you? It's not exactly the path to creating a safe, respectful space between you and your son, and I know plenty of teenagers who just find ways to keep secrets from their parents when their parents cross a line like that, and I think it is better to create a space where your son will actually feel like he can talk to you.

Some examples of rules could include
1. he has to come home by 10 during the week and midnight on the weekends unless you've given permission for him to do otherwise
2. he has to tell you where he is (e.g. at a friends, school, sports, etc.)

The reality is that if he gets into any kind of trouble driving, then you're going to know about it. Do you seriously think he'll be able to hide crashing the car? If he gets a speeding ticket, he gets punished for speeding. Pretty much everything that could happen he won't be able to hide or he will be punished by the law.

Putting a tracking device in his car is beyond ridiculous. I don't mean to sound disrespectful to you, but it's kind of true. It's showing no respect for your son. Why do you need to track where he is? Why don't you trust him? Like I said, if he's driving badly, he'll be caught and punished by the law. Beyond that, you're better to just set up clear rules, like making it clear that you have to know where he is. Most kids, given the chance, will be honest. If you are sneaky and duplicious about trying to control his movements, he'll find a way around it. If this is his own vehicle he is using, he can just sell it, buy a new vehicle and refuse to allow you access to it. That, or he simply will not use his own vehicle any more when he can avoid it as to block your need to control him. Trust me, I was a teenager like 5 minutes ago and I know exactly how this will go down if you do this because I bet you aren't planning to tell him about this. You're way better off just setting up clear rules and going from there because putting a tracking device in his car is such a horrible idea I don't even think I can express the importance of not doing that clearly enough




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Re: My child's first car I'm so worried! - October 6th 2015, 02:57 PM

If he gets in an accident you will know about it. When I got in my accident, my first instinct was to call my mom and get her over there to help me because I was really shaken up. Even if they don't call you, you'll still find out easily. When people get in accidents the police come by and find out what happened and figure out if any services need to be provided, your child won't just be stuck there alone.
And I also disagree with the test being too easy. Driving is not difficult, it's just not uncommon for mistakes to be made. The DMV knows how important safe driving is, they wouldn't let people pass if they are a bad driver and let them endanger everyone on the road. I know lots of people who didn't pass on the first try.


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Re: My child's first car I'm so worried! - October 7th 2015, 01:04 AM

I agree that tracking him while driving in anyway would not be helpful to the trust that is beginning to build as he gains more responsibility.
Setting boundaries is the best way to go and if he breaks any rules that are set than consequences should be given.
Nicole made a great point; if he gets in an accident you will be notifyed since you are his parent. If he is able to, he would probably call you first in that instance for support.
Hope this helps.
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Re: My child's first car I'm so worried! - October 7th 2015, 08:39 AM

As Nicole said, if your son is in an accident, you will know. It's extremely likely that your son will call you if he is in an accident because it really can shake you up. He'll most likely turn to you to figure out what needs to be done next. If he is involved in a serious accident (I certainly hope this never happens!), you will also be notified by the police or the paramedics.

Perhaps you could talk to your son about saving you as an ICE (in case of emergency) contact in his phone. I can't speak for iPhones, but I know that Android phones offer the ability to label people in your phone as this type of contact. If an emergency occurs that prevents an individual from being able to communicate with the appropriate people about who should be called, this label will notify them of who should be called and in what order. Knowing that you will be reached no matter what might help put your mind at ease a bit.


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Re: My child's first car I'm so worried! - October 7th 2015, 06:44 PM

Hey there,

I can understand why you're frightened about your son now driving. I wouldn't suggest putting any kind of tracking device on your son's car. He's an adult and in time you are going to feel more comfortable. For the time being maybe you could agree on him calling you once he has reached his destination or give you a text to let you know his safe. He has obviously drove well enough to pass his practical test, so he is capable of driving to a good standard. Now it's time to trust that he will go out and drive to that standard all the time. As time goes on you will stop worrying quite as much.

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Re: My child's first car I'm so worried! - October 9th 2015, 09:19 PM

Hey there.

I agree with what has been said. I understand why you would be extremely worried about your son driving. He is your son and no matter how old he gets, he's still your baby and you love him which means you're going to worry. The thing is, he is an adult and learning to drive is where he will begin to gain even more independence as an adult. If you track him without him being aware and okay about it, he will most likely be upset and be less trusting with you.

Before he got his license, is he normally responsible and mature? If so, I think this would be a good opportunity to reward him with your trust. Trust that he will drive safely and be honest with you about any accidents. You could sit down with him and talk to him about your worries and even set rules. As Paige suggested, let him know that you would appreciate if he were to text or call you when he makes it somewhere safely to let you know and also to let you know if he has any issues/accidents while driving. You could also accompany him somewhere to run an errand so that you are able to get reassurance that he drives well. And if you have any tips to help him be safer on the road, you could educate him on it. Honesty with your son will result in a much better chance of him being honest with you in return.

This is probably incredibly difficult for you because I can see that you're a mother who simply wants to be sure her son is safe. I can admire your love and care for him. I just think that if you trust him to give him room to find his independence and to live, that he'll be a lot more open and trusting with you in return. As Sammi said, teenagers are more likely to obey the rules rather than rebel and do things behind your back if they feel they have your trust and approval.

Even though it will take time, I do believe there'll come a point where you won't worry as much. He's your son and you will worry to a certain degree, but I think it will get better as you become more comfortable with him driving.
   
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