Author Topic: Kids driving cars discussion  (Read 2488 times)

aliall

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Kids driving cars discussion
« on: April 19, 2017, 01:24:32 PM »
I would like to hear about people's thoughts and experiences with kids driving/cars.  Kid(15) will get license this summer and kid(13) gets his permit (kid(11) not yet relevant to this discussion.  We are considering a car for the kids.

Here are some considerations:
-Both kids responsible straight A students with lots of extra curricular activities
-Adding car in our price range would increase car insurance from under $60/mo to about $210 (so $150 increase)
-Current cars have been paid off for a long time and would pay cash for potential vehicle. (2009 Camry, 2004 minivan)
-We live in a rural community with school bussing; school is not bikeable or walkable (8 miles or so and against the rules;55 mph most of the way).
-Kids often have meetings and sports before and after school so no bussing for that
-Kid(15) is applying for an internship 12 miles away this summer
-I can walk to work, so van is often available, but if left without a car, I couldn't react in an emergency/pick up sick kids etc. DH is often unreachable during day.
-We do a lot of yard work and deep mulch gardening, so adding a beater pickup to the mix would help with getting cheap materials rather than paying to get delivered.

What are people's thoughts?  Anyone have a similar experience?
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 01:26:33 PM by aliall »

Dee18

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2017, 06:20:05 PM »
I went to an excellent presentation on teen driving just before my daughter got her learners permit.  Here are some key points I remember:(1) teens have many more accidents, and more fatal ones, when they "have a car" than when they are driving mom or dad's car.  The speaker specifically said if you are getting a third car because of a driving teen, do not label it the teen's car and do not have the teen drive the same car all the time.  (2) teens have far more fatal accidents in SUVs and trucks because of rollovers.  (3) the best prevention of accidents is the most hours of driving under adult supervision.  (4) have clear rules about distractions.  Suggestions included: phone must be in trunk and no passengers except with adult in car first six months; and only one passenger max second six months.  (Teens much more likely to have fatal accident with another teen in car.) also consider no weekend night driving first six months. Last, but not least, teen forbidden to drive after consuming any alcohol with penalty for that to be one year without driving.....this last "threat" was combined with a friend of mine offering a ride home day or night no questions asked if my teen ever thought she shouldn't drive. this talk was followed the next day by three hours of driving in a giant parking lot where teen learned to drive aggressively to avoid accidents...including learning to slam on the brakes.  (Worst headache of my life followed that 3 hours!)


Laura33

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 06:50:16 PM »
I think the world has changed since I was a teen, and so I have had to change my approach to cars along with it.  I always viewed teens having cars as the ultimate sign of spoiled rich kids, and vowed my kid would earn it.  Of course, back then, I could walk everywhere, there was no expectation of parental oversight all the time or continuous after-school activities -- and I was an only child, so driving generally benefited only me.

Now my kids have a bunch of after-school things, and while we intentionally chose a walkable neighborhood, some of those activities are miles away.  Meanwhile, I am out of the house and in the office; I have two kids to deal with; and I have been rushing to leave by 4:30 every day for the past decade to get DS before daycare closes.  So with all of that, I am basically counting down the hours until DD is old enough to get her permanent license and can start taking care of herself and helping with him.  Not to mention grocery shopping and other errands!

I am worried about safety, but our state has a graduated license program that restricts driving at night and with friends for specific periods, with the first "full" freedom at 18.  We will of course have our own requirements for safe driving and responsible behavior to maintain the privilege.  My current debate is whether she should drive my old car (which has been the plan since we bought it in 2008), or upgrade to one of the new models with active accident avoidance features.  I think for now, given the constraints on when and where she can drive, my car is good enough.  And in another year and a half when she is eligible to do things like drive on the highway at night, I am hoping we can get a 2-3 year old version of one of the newer models.
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SwordGuy

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2017, 09:22:50 PM »
For a healthy kid of driving age biking 5 to 10 miles is no big deal.  At least as far as distance.

You'll have to make your own assessment of road safety in your area, but non-bikers are notoriously overestimate the dangers to bikers.
Seriously overestimate the dangers, so be aware of the bias when you do.

How often have you ever had to deal with an emergency at school for one of your children?   And when I say "emergency", I mean your kid would have died or been maimed if you had arrived 30 minutes later than you did?    Because you can always take a taxi for that once a year problem...

Can kids get a ride home with someone else after their activities?   Might be cheaper to toss in gas money for that than pay for the car and insurance.

I'm seeing a lot of rationalization in your answers.   Maybe I'm wrong, maybe you're just looking for excuses to get a car for them.

Nothing wrong, per se, with doing that.   But there's not necessarily a reason to hurry, either.  It might be worthwhile for them to learn how to negotiate for rides, etc.



aliall

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 07:55:47 AM »
Thanks for the responses!  There is for sure some rationalization in my post!  I am actually pushing for no car, but my husband thinks it is a good idea. 

As for the biking, I have had lots of experience road cycling and these roads are not safe.  No shoulder and hundreds of kids driving 60+ on their way to school.  Plus, the school does not allow walking or biking to campus because off the roads surrounding the area.  (There are 8 schools on this campus and so much traffic).

Thanks for your thoughts.  We are not in a hurry to act, so I am just looking for some ideas to chew on.




Laura33

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 08:33:24 AM »
I'm seeing a lot of rationalization in your answers.   Maybe I'm wrong, maybe you're just looking for excuses to get a car for them.

Well, in some ways, isn't everything a rationalization?  None of the stuff we're talking about is a need.  I mean, my kids don't have to go to Hebrew School 15 miles away on Thursday nights and Sundays; I didn't have to send the kids to the camp with a bus stop 10 miles away on roads that even I wouldn't bike.  Hell, I could have made my kids play the flute instead of the stupidfuckingtuba so they could walk the three miles home from MS when they have an after-school activity (aside:  I really, really, really wish I had made them play the damn flute).  But we chose to do these things, and we continue to think they add value to our lives, and so now the question is how best to manage them.

So, sure, we carpool where we can; we limit activities; we make the kids walk/bike where it works (yes, sorry, dear, I am *not* giving you a ride to the library 1/3 mile away just because you feel lazy).  But the reality is that, given the choices we have made, there are several times a week in which driving is most efficient -- especially given that we both still work full-time and are squeezing in the kid commitments around other things, like work and keeping people fed and paying bills and all the rest of that. 

And my other consideration is that right now, most of that burden falls on me.  And the time I spend doing all of those things is generally time away from my job, which in turn affects my ability to earn money -- just daycare pickup alone has cost me 5-10 hrs/week for the past 15 years, which either means I bill fewer hours or I work at night after the kids go to bed.  On a purely financial basis, a third driver would more than pay for itself so long as I continue to work.

So, yeah, I am completely fucking thrilled that within a year, I can tell DD to go get DS from daycare so I can stay at work another hour, or to drive herself and her brother to Hebrew School so I can work or go get other errands done -- or, hell, just kick back and relax.  I may even throw myself a little freedom party, just because.
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Dave1442397

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2017, 09:16:08 AM »
A friend's daughter (HS Senior) was moping around the house for days. When she was finally alone with her Mom, who asked her to please tell her what was going on, she announced that she had gotten a ticket for doing 91 in a 65 zone on the NJ Turnpike (easy to do when most people are doing 80). She was also given a reckless driving ticket.

Instead of telling her parents, she decided to just pay the tickets. Big mistake. She could have gone to court and probably had both tickets reduced to lesser offences. Now her insurance rates will be sky high for years.




KCM5

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2017, 09:18:32 AM »
I like the idea of buying an old truck. Either that can be the car that the kid borrows for approved driving jaunts, or s/he can borrow the old minivan. Probably just depends on reliability.

I lived in a similar type place when I was a teenager. We had a 1970s old beast of a car that the kids shared (there were three of us close in age). This was the late 1990s, so that thing was old. And awesome. I think having a shared car is the way to go (that being a shared family car that they borrow).

My kid? When she's old enough to drive I don't plan on having a car myself, so there will be no car to borrow. And we plan to move to a country that doesn't allow driving until 18. So we'll see how that goes.

Beach_Bound

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2017, 07:34:19 PM »
I remember how my parents changed their minds on this topic. I'm 27 now. When I was little, they thought buying a car for a teenager was absurd. By the time I was 16, they couldn't wait for me to get my license so I could drive myself. My parents got a used car that was designated as the "family car", not "my car". I was responsible for paying for the gas I used. My parents paid for insurance and regular maintenance, but if my irresponsible driving caused insurance to increase or resulted to damage to the car, I would be on the hook for those costs. My dad loved those years - if I wanted to drive, I had to follow my parents' rules. I loved the independence of being able to drive myself, so the threat of losing car privileges was incredibly motivating. YMMV.

And +1 to Laura33's point about activities. When I was 16, my sister was 14, and my brother was 10. My sister and I played sports in high school, so that's 3-4 practices and 1-2 games for each of us each week. Those practices didn't necessarily end at the same time, and the games weren't necessarily in the same location. My brother and sister still had Hebrew school once a week (I was done by that point). I was in several honor societies that met before school. My brother was in boy scouts. This may sound crazy busy, but it adds up to 1-2 activities per kid, which didn't feel over-scheduled to us. I'm sure it felt busy for my mom, who had to drive us to all of this (let's set aside the biking vs driving debate for now). As a side note, I believe our extra-curricular activities played a big part in helping my siblings and I each land scholarships to college.

This summer may be ok if your oldest kid takes the van to his internship... but that means you can't drive your other kids anywhere else. That may be no problem, or it may be frustrating. And what happens when you have 2 kids who have jobs/internships with different hours, in different locations? Summer jobs at pools/retail/restaurants (which seem to be the types of jobs most teens work) aren't known for their consistent or predictable hours. The flexibility an extra car provides may be appreciated then.

This isn't a decision you need to make now - you can wait and see how things go, and buy a car if/when you feel it's needed. Consider how much time you spend driving your older kid(s) to activities. Decide if a $5k used car and an extra $150 per month for insurance is worth that time. I suspect it will be.

gooki

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2017, 03:04:31 AM »
A friend's daughter (HS Senior) was moping around the house for days. When she was finally alone with her Mom, who asked her to please tell her what was going on, she announced that she had gotten a ticket for doing 91 in a 65 zone on the NJ Turnpike (easy to do when most people are doing 80). She was also given a reckless driving ticket.

Instead of telling her parents, she decided to just pay the tickets. Big mistake. She could have gone to court and probably had both tickets reduced to lesser offences. Now her insurance rates will be sky high for years.

It sounds great to me. She made a mistake, took responsibility or that mistake, and accepted the consequences.
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MayDay

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2017, 07:33:49 AM »
My family has a tradition: grandma gives her old car to the grandkids to share (owned by the parents, with their rules) and gets a shiny new car for herself.

My mom is planning to give her old CRV to my kids, and get her retirement car.  It'll be good and old by then, so cheap to insure. The only thing I don't like is that it's an suv- stupid teenagers might roll it. We might swap it for a sedan.

My grandma gave me her rockin old Subaru wagon. My brother, sister, and I all shared it. We hated sharing but it was good for us!

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trollwithamustache

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2017, 07:58:16 AM »
We roll with long, long (awfull? torturous? ) learners permit timeframes.  DLT (dear lady troll) would have happily waited longer, but I feel we (right or wrong) live in a mostly car based society and have a responsibility to teach them good car-ing. That's a lot of supervised driving time,  a little basic maintenance and they only had to wax the car once. But mostly a lot of supervised driving time.  We currently won't pay for a car or solo-insurance for them.

I also worry that while alone I think a lot of these kids show good judgment, when you put them together they show much more of the judgment I occasionally showed in my youth...

kanga1622

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2017, 12:34:00 PM »
We have been a one car family for about 14 years. By the time our oldest can have a driver's license (way too young in my state) we will investigate getting a second car to share between the then 3 drivers. Honestly, although we live in a decent sized town with little/no public transportation, we can walk to many places and "downtown" is less than 1.5 miles. A lot for us depends on how inconvenient it is to deliver kids where they need to be for activities. As we have adapted to being a one car family and dealt with inconvenient (like packing up two kids in car seats to drive in freezing rain to pick up a parent that works later than the other), our bar for "irritating" means it has to be pretty darn problematic.

I can't imagine letting my kids loose on the roads without a couple years of supervised driving first.

shawndoggy

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2017, 08:21:37 AM »
my kids both drove at 16.  Frivolous luxury?  Prolly.  A convenience for parents more than kids?  Definitely.

We took my daughter's car away from her for a while in high school.  It was excruciating ... for us.  In a year of independent driving we'd gotten so used to NOT having to run her to school/extracurriculars/work.

When I was 16 (working class neighborhood) everybody got their license, and most got a (beater) car.  Today in an ever so slightly more affluent neighborhood, we've found that our kids friends are happy to NOT even get their license or drive.  So much easier to be uber'd around by mom.  weird.

ltt

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2017, 07:10:39 PM »
We have 4 kids--1 college, 2 high schoolers, and 1 soon to be junior high.  We don't have the option of our children walking to school or riding a bike (way too dangerous) or taking a bus (more rural area).  Transportation seem to always be an issue, simply because of schedules.  We have managed, but I'm very much in the "pro" category of kids driving and having a car/sharing a car with a sibling when they are in their teens, if it can be managed. 

We've tried to have them share, but there's either been before-school activities, after-school activities, school-sponsored events away from school where they don't get back until later in the evening, needing to head to work after school, needing to go to a class after-school, church activities that are scheduled at different times based upon what grade/age of child.  We sent our oldest teen to college without a car, so the two high schoolers would each have a vehicle.  That worked for most of the year.  But when our teen at college got sick this winter (college about 1-1/2 hours away) and needed to get to the doctor/hospital and had to try and find a ride, that didn't go over well with me, so we had him take one of the cars back to college this Spring. 

Does it help the parents?  Absolutely!!  Our older teen in high school will graduate this year, and then will be off to college, and then we will be back in the same situation again with the extra-curricular high school activities and needing to be there early or staying later.  So, we are looking for another vehicle.   
« Last Edit: April 30, 2017, 07:12:30 PM by ltt »

the_fella

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2017, 08:16:44 PM »
Regardless of what you decide, I highly recommend you teach your child the basics of cars/car repair and how things work. Ideally, they should at least understand the very basics of how most of the systems in a car function. They need to know how to jack a car up and change a tire without having to call someone for assistance. They need to know how properly to use a jump box to jump a car (or how to hook up jumper cables between two cars). Knowing how/when to apply a plug to a punctured tire is also a good skill to have. It could avoid the need to change the tire outright. They also need to understand that these are just stop-gaps to get them home or someplace safe.

FireHiker

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2017, 10:56:03 AM »
My oldest is 16 (well, almost 16.5 now). He got his driver's license in January, ten days after he turned 16. I wasn't planning to get him his own car, but his dad's parents offered $5k towards a car to match what they did for the other grandchildren, and my XH and his wife offered up $2k. So, my husband and I threw in $4k and we got him a 2015 Nissan Sentra from the Hertz dealer, $11k total out to door with tax and license. The mileage was a bit high since it had been a rental, but that should even out after the first few years since his driving mileage is pretty low. Insurance is higher on his car than on either of ours of course (2008 and 2009), but as long as he doesn't end up in an accident this car should last him at least ten years, and after that he's on his own anyway.

I had originally planned that we would share 2 cars across the 3 of us since my husband and I work together, but it is fantastic that my oldest can drive himself. He goes to his dad's every other weekend (about 25 minutes each way) and it is SO nice that he can just drive himself there and back. His dad will fill it up with gas occasionally on his weekend to make up for the fact that he doesn't have to drive to pick him up anymore. Since my husband and I both work full time, and we have two younger kids (5 and 7), it is such a luxury for the oldest to drive himself, run to the store for us, etc. He plays rugby and does track and field, and he used to need a ride way too often while we were trying to get the little kids to bed. It is definitely a luxury, but one I'm really happy to have. Now I get to keep my 2008 manual transmission Honda Civic forever ($46k miles on it), which makes me happy too.

acroy

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2017, 12:29:40 PM »
Hmmm, interesting scenario.
I'd say move, but maybe not an option - you can 'walk to work' etc.
I personally am NOT A FAN of letting kids drive. Give a teenager a 2-ton machine that can go 100mph on roads with hundreds of other kids in similar machines, all of whom have had only minimal training? madness... for the kids and all the other users.

I'd suggest, IF you let the kids drive, take driving safety extremely seriously. Basically look up what is required for a DL in Germany and replicate it yourself including an 8hr first aid & CPR class (these are often offered free or cheap through schools, fire dept etc). Consider a gizmo such as this:
https://www.amazon.com/MOTOsafety-Real-Time-Tracking-Monitoring-MPVAS1/dp/B006TZ8A5W
And maybe a car cam to watch the teen driver. Eye of Sauron and all that.

Driving is friggin dangerous.

Good luck!
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LiveLean

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2017, 03:56:11 AM »
I don't understand the folks who don't want kids to drive. Yes, I get it. It's expensive and freakin' dangerous. I'm three years removed from an auto accident in which a distracted driver has caused me permanent injuries (I was driving, too). So I am fearful of that.

On the other hand, not wanting your kid to drive is the latest sign of our helicopter-parenting, stay-on-my-cell-plan-and-health-care until your freakin' 26 culture. The one thing I disagree vehemently with MMM with is the obsession with biking. I'm a former triathlete and the one thing I don't miss is risking life and limb both in training --- and we biked long only at sunrise on Sunday mornings, still dealing with distracted folks heading to church or coming home after a long night -- and in races, where inevitably some douche would run over cones and onto the closed course to get where he needed to go on Saturday morning. Bikers also do themselves no favors by insisting on wearing ear buds and sacrificing their second-most valuable sense. And don't get me started on the cyclists who look at their phones while riding.

Our 14-year-old is a year-round competitive swimmer. He has 8 or 9 practices a week, Monday through Saturday, every week, year round. The pool is 7.6 miles away. I know this because I have made this drive literally thousands of times since he was 6. And, yes, this is our closest swim club.

You bet he's going to drive on his 16th birthday, early and often as the license allows.
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FireHiker

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2017, 09:58:06 AM »
Although it is very terrifying to have a driving teenager, part of my motivation in his getting his license as soon as possible (in addition to the convenience for ME) is that I have that much longer to influence his driving habits while he's under my roof. The last thing I would want to do is not allow him to drive, or allow him to drive but not give him opportunities to practice in a familiar area where he isn't also trying to navigate, and then have him go off and learn to do those things without my input in college somewhere.

The thing that has been pretty entertaining (and very reassuring) through it all is to see how he is such a safe rule follower. OMG his indignation about other (often adult) drivers on their cellphones, or people not obeying stop signs, etc. At least he takes safety and the rules very seriously!

acroy

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2017, 10:39:31 AM »
I don't understand the folks who don't want kids to drive. Yes, I get it. It's expensive and freakin' dangerous. I'm three years removed from an auto accident in which a distracted driver has caused me permanent injuries (I was driving, too). So I am fearful of that.

On the other hand, not wanting your kid to drive is the latest sign of our helicopter-parenting, stay-on-my-cell-plan-and-health-care until your freakin' 26 culture.

I understand the point but disagree. At least for me, avoiding driving is strictly fact-based risk management.
https://www.cdc.gov/injury/images/lc-charts/leading_causes_of_injury_deaths_unintentional_injury_2015_1050w760h.gif
Motor vehicle is #1 or #2 cause of unintentional injury deaths for all age groups except under 1 year of age.
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Laura33

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2017, 11:54:57 AM »
Although it is very terrifying to have a driving teenager, part of my motivation in his getting his license as soon as possible (in addition to the convenience for ME) is that I have that much longer to influence his driving habits while he's under my roof. The last thing I would want to do is not allow him to drive, or allow him to drive but not give him opportunities to practice in a familiar area where he isn't also trying to navigate, and then have him go off and learn to do those things without my input in college somewhere.

The thing that has been pretty entertaining (and very reassuring) through it all is to see how he is such a safe rule follower. OMG his indignation about other (often adult) drivers on their cellphones, or people not obeying stop signs, etc. At least he takes safety and the rules very seriously!

+1.

We chose a neighborhood where we can all walk/bike to a lot of stuff.  But it is very likely that my kids will end up needing to know how to drive.  So I want as much time as possible with her under my wing to build good habits -- and, frankly, so I can assess her skills and attitude myself and decide at what point she is ready.  We also live in a reasonably learner-friendly place, with many 25-30 mph zones, few really horrid intersections (except at rush hour), and lots of sidewalks so there are fewer pedestrians in the street. 

It's sort of like everything else:  I am not raising a kid, I am raising a future adult.  In 2 years and a couple of months, she will be off in another state, without me to look over her shoulder and advise her on all her decisions.  The only way to prepare her for that degree of independence and responsibility is to give it to her bit by bit while I can still see with my own eyes whether she is ready and adjust accordingly.

Also true on the kid as Rules Nazi!  OMG.  But, hey, it's good for me, too, as I have certainly slipped into some bad habits over the years.  :-)
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omachi

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2017, 12:13:10 PM »
Give the kid the minivan and get yourself something that makes sense. Claim rights to drive your minivan whenever you want to, like hauling the family around. Better yet, claim rights to shotgun and have the kid haul the family around. Supervised driving is the best driving at that age. Make cute remarks like "don't end the family name" before the whole family is to be hauled just to humorously remind them that it isn't a game and that you're actually being very trusting of them.

But seriously, give them the minivan. There's no way to look cool in a minivan. That should remove some* of the incentive of doing dumb things to look cool, because you just can't.

*Full disclosure: I still did dumb things in the minivan, even though there was no way to look cool. Going fast is still fun even if you don't look cool. Fact of life.

the_fella

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2017, 06:34:39 PM »
. Make cute remarks like "don't end the family name" before the whole family is to be hauled just to humorously remind them that it isn't a game and that you're actually being very trusting of them.

Please don't do this. My mother constantly criticizes my driving. It's to the point where I refuse to drive with her in the car for the most part. I have a damn commercial driver license and drive large vehicles every day, but apparently that's not good enough for her. Doing this causes animosity.

omachi

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Re: Kids driving cars discussion
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2017, 07:44:24 AM »
. Make cute remarks like "don't end the family name" before the whole family is to be hauled just to humorously remind them that it isn't a game and that you're actually being very trusting of them.

Please don't do this. My mother constantly criticizes my driving. It's to the point where I refuse to drive with her in the car for the most part. I have a damn commercial driver license and drive large vehicles every day, but apparently that's not good enough for her. Doing this causes animosity.

Sorry your mother is a nag, but I didn't say constantly criticize. That's incredibly unhelpful. I'm suggesting a little dark humor to address a very serious topic. There's no criticism whatsoever involved in tossing somebody the keys and saying "don't kill us all" in an upbeat way with a smile on your face. Don't do this if the kid is particularly anxious or nervous about driving, since that'll make it worse, though I'd expect OP could figure that out.

If the kid is funny they'll have a retort like "how long do I lose driving privileges if I do?" Good times for all.