Teen Drivers and What Parents Need to Know

teentalkingdrivingDid you know 56% of teens admit to talking on the phone while driving?

Did you know 16-year-olds have higher crash rates than drivers of any other age?

“Can I drive?” may not be a phrase you are ready to hear when your teenager is old enough to get his or her driver’s permit. In fact, it may be difficult to come to terms with the fact that your child who was once buckled up in a car seat is now old enough to be behind the wheel. The reality is that your baby is no longer a baby anymore and is suddenly tasked with the big responsibility of being a driver, all while you are thrown from the driver’s seat to the passenger’s seat.

Learning how to adjust to this rite of passage is simultaneously exciting and scary for both of you. In order for a teen to successfully and safely learn how to drive, parents have to let go of the wheel and practice patience, trust and cooperation, according to Kim Estes, child safety expert and founder of Savvy Parents Safe Kids.

“Driving is one of the biggest risks and leaps parents encounter with teens and also requires the biggest amount of trust from parents,” she says. “Collaboration, communication and taking the criticism down about 10 notches can help the parent-teen relationship during this time.”

Prepping Your Child and Yourself

It is likely your teen has access to a driver’s education course within the community or at school. However, driving is a hands-on activity and your child needs your guidance. Before backing out of the driveway, have a discussion with your teen about her concerns about driving, recommends Estes.

“When my daughter began driving, we talked ahead of time about what made her nervous, such as certain intersections or my tone when instructing her,” she says. “Once we were clear about fears and expectations ahead of time, it took some of the edge off for both of us.”

A review of the rules of the road may also help both of you prepare for daily cruises through the neighborhood. According to the All State Foundation, parents should begin talking about safe driving well before a teen applies for a driver’s permit. “Parents should begin a conversation by the junior high years and maintain an ongoing dialogue,” suggest the experts at All State. “Tee it up as a discussion, not a lecture.”

While reviewing your state’s road rules, such as speed limits, intersection protocols and phone usage guidelines, you have the opportunity to sharpen your own driving knowledge and educate your teen. Talk to your teen about driving situations while you are experiencing them, says Estes. “As you are about to change lanes, talk to your teen about the three things you should do before changing lanes,” she says.

Set an Example

Whether you realize it or not, your teen is watching your every move. Set the example as a safe driver to not only educate your child but also improve your own driving abilities. “Don’t do things while driving that you don’t want your children to do, such as texting, driving aggressive or running yellow lights,” says Estes.

It may also help your teen learn if you encourage him or her to observe, offer suggestions and ask questions about your driving. Don’t be defensive during the process, though, advises Estes. “If your driving relationship with each other has more of a collaborative feel to it, the more likely your teen is to follow your lead, ask questions and hopefully take less driving risks,” she says.

Stay Calm

Even though driving with your teen may make you nervous or anxious, it’s important to calm your own emotions so you don’t inadvertently transfer those feelings to your child while she’s driving.

“Take a stress ball with you if you think you are going to be stressed,” suggests Estes. “Holding on to your seat or the dashboard with a death grip does nothing to instill calm or confidence in your teen driver.”

Keep criticism to a minimum, too. Instead of shouting “you are going too fast,” ask your teen open-ended questions, such as “Can you tell me what the posted speed limit is in this area?” A sharp or sarcastic tone may belittle your teen, who is most likely doing her best to obey the law and improve her skills.

If nervousness takes over, Estes suggests asking a trusted friend or family member to take your teen driving at first. “This helped me ease up a little since I knew it was not her actual first time behind the wheel,” she says.

If you are concerned about your teen’s ability to navigate complex intersections or highways while driving, take it slow. Take the road less traveled the first few times to help calm both of you.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

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Parent Empowerment Blog Makes Top 20 List

WildernessVenturesFor over a decade I have been helping parents with struggling teens after my own challenges with my teenager.  Back in the time when the Internet was in its’ infancy, there wasn’t a lot of information to be out here yet.  Now it seems there are literally thousands, if not millions of sites and bloggers with every click of a mouse.

With this, I am so flattered and honored to be selected in the list of of top 20 blogs and websites, not only once, but for two of my sites.  Two of my blog sites, http://www.parentempowerment.blogspot.com and http://www.suescheffblog.com which I created only several years ago, made the cut!

I want to personally thank the team at Wilderness Ventures for believing in my work and understanding my passion for what I do.

Here is there recent press release as well as the other top sites and blogs that are all tremendous!!!

Wilderness Ventures, the oldest and most experienced adventure travel program offering teen summer camps, is announcing their choices for the “Top 20 Blogs and Websites for Parents with Teens” for 2013. The blogs and websites selected by Wilderness Ventures are being honored for their innovative and creative content as well as their ability to offer parents and teens a personal connection and invaluable virtual resources.

Team members at Wilderness Ventures scoured the web to find bloggers that demonstrated practicality, creativity, personal engagement and fun in their blog while offering unique perspectives on being a parent of young children or teenagers. Criteria such as design, helpful tips and pointers, level of engagement, number of followers, and more, were factored into the final selection process.
Wilderness Ventures, who has offered teen adventure camps for more than 40 years, believes that active personal engagement and communication between parents and their teenage children are important factors for parents whose job is to teach the next generation of young adults. For this reason, Wilderness Ventures is choosing to recognize blogs and websites that they feel promote interpersonal connection between teens and their parents as well as shared resources between parents.
The list of top 20 blogs and websites for parents with teens included here, in no particular order:
About Wilderness Ventures:
With more than 21,000 student alumni, Wilderness Ventures has pioneered outdoor adventures for young adults and has paved the way for youth travel around the world.  Their 40 years of experience, unwavering values of community, inter-personal growth, wholesome environments, safety, wilderness education, discovery, conservation, and exploration have led to their unmatched and trusted reputation. Wilderness Ventures currently holds special permits to operate their teen adventure camps in 20 National Parks and 17 designated wilderness areas with special permits.

Sue Scheff – Parenting Blogs

Recently I am noticing more and more parents are stepping up and talking about their issues, concerns, frustrations as well as sharing ideas and tips they have used in raising their children. All in all, it is about parents helping parents.Years ago when I struggled with my daughter, I felt so alone – and it was such a hush hush mentality. We were all so determined to prove our kids were nearly perfect! Oh, so smart and athletic or gifted and talented in some way. In today’s generation of raising children it is become more challenging.

 

 

Here are a few Blogs on Parenting that could help you help your child:
Van’s Mom – Exploring and dealing with an ADHD and ODD daughter.
Tangerine Times – Myrna’s parenting tips on the sweet and sour times of teens.
Phil’s Blog – Why physical education is so critical to children today in highly techy times.
Inhalant Abuse Blog – Parents educate other parents on the dangers of many home products.
Love Our Children Blog – Helping keep today’s children safe.

Sarah Maria’s Blog – Learning to increase your self image to make better choices. (For parents and teens!)

Lori Hanson’s Blog – Holistic solutions for a eating disorders.
ADD/ADHD Blog – ADDitude Magazine offers many parent Blogs on ADD/ADHD and more.

Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff The Best of 2008 Parenting Sites and Books

Well, 2008 is finally behind us! Many would say it was not the best year economically, with stress of finances, the frustrations of getting our kids/teens to comprehend the serious of it all. Personally I am very excited about 2009 – especially this fall, my second book will be released and it is going to be HOT! It is hush hush for now, but it will be explosive for sure!

Let’s take a look at 2008 and some of the great parenting sites and books we have:

ADDitude Magazine – All about ADD/ADHD!
PE4Life – Teaching our Kids the Importance of Physical Education
Connect with Kids – Great Articles and DVD’s for Parenting of all ages
Inhalant Abuse – Learn more about this growing problem among teens.
Love Our Children USA – Great information on keeping our kids safe today.
iKeepSafe – Promoting Parenting Education on Keeping Kids Safe in Cyberspace
Feingold Program – Fantastic information on alternative ways to treating ADD/ADHD
Education.com – It’s all about kids of all ages!
Safe Teen Driving ClubLearn how to keep your teens safe on the road.
Next Generation Parenting – What’s next?
OnTeensToday – Vanessa Van Petten has great insights on teens today.
Thinking Forward – A parent’s guide to middle school years.
Break Free Beauty – Teen Body Image by Sarah Maria

Beautiful Boy by David Scheff
It All Started with Pop-Tarts by Lori Hanson
A Relentless Hope – Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression by Gary Nelson
You’re Grounded by Vanessa Van Petten
Parent Survival TrainingDr. David Lustig
SOS – Students Guide for Saying NO to Cheating – by Lisa Medoff
SOS – Students Guide for Peer Pressure – by Lisa Medoff
Preventing Addiction by Dr. John Fleming

Oh, don’t forget my own book release in July 2008 – Wit’s End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-Of-Control Teen published by Health Communications, Inc. Watch for fall 2009 as they release my second book!

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Holiday Gift Ideas for Kids, Tweens and Teens

educationcomAs a Parent Advocate I am always looking for great parenting ideas, thoughts and articles. Now Education.com has given parents terrific gifts that can enhance your child’s learning growth no matter what age they are! Check it out!
Need Gift Ideas? We Got You Covered!
We found the best toys, games, and books for each grade that will build your child’s brain, as well as being chock-full of fun. We’ve also factored in the economy, with most gifts falling in the $20-$40 range, so you can shop smart. This list of loot is kid-tested, teacher approved, and easy on your pocket book. So check out our 2008 Gift Guide.

Gifts for Preschoolers
Gifts for Kindergartners
Gifts for First Graders
Gifts for Second Graders
Gifts for Third Graders
Gifts for Fourth Graders
Gifts for Fifth Graders
Gifts for Middle Schoolers
Gifts for High Schoolers

 

All these items and more are also available at our online store.

 

 

Happy Wrapping!

 

 

The Education.com Team