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Old 03-02-2011, 05:45 AM
 
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My son got his license over a week ago. Last weekend he was out and about with a friend. I talked to one of his other friend's mom's the other day and she asked how the driving was going -I told her that he and a friend went on a trail ride and to some girl's house- she said "you know that she is WILD and that John(his friend) drinks" She said that she told my son told him to be careful- etc... When i was telling friends at work they all said "helicopter mom "- She is a very good friend of mine so I have to be careful- she does not allow her almost 16 year old to ride with new drivers. Her first child got his GF pregnant freshman year-they had baby- finished college and just had #2. Child # 2 had a gap year then went to state school apparently partied too much and is now at a military school.
I have talked to my son and hope that he makes the right decisions. I recall doing the same things driving around going to people
's houses. We are supposed to trust our children and hope that they grow up and be responsible adults. if you hover over them and make all of their decisions for them- what will they learn??

I plan to tell her that I've talked to my son and hope that he chooses to make good decisions-any other suggestions??
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Thankfully, in my state, kids under 18 get a graduated license, which means that they can't drive with other teens in the car for 6 months. I think that after that amount of time, most kids can be trusted to be good drivers... but honestly, brand new teen drivers scare me! (This could be because one hit me several years ago... he had had his license for a couple of months, ran a stopsign and pulled directly into traffic, and crashed into my van, causing a rollover accident.)

As for knowing exactly where kids are... yeah, I expect to know what the general plan is. We have an exchange student (she's 17), and when she goes out with friends, I make sure I know who she's with, roughly where she'll be, and when she expects to be home. She does not need to call me and let me know that they decided to go to Denny's or somewhere else in town, but if she leaves to go hang out at a friend's house and they decide to go to the beach an hour away instead, then I expect a text or call.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:08 AM
 
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A car is a wonderful thing for a teenager. It can also be a dangerous thing. A parent is not necessarily overprotective by introducing this dangerous and wonderful experience to a teen gradually. I do not let my kids ride with new drivers. I also did not let my son drive with others in the car right away. When he first got his license we limited where he could go to places that were short trips. Now that he has his license for almost a year we allow him to travel greater distances. I don't think that makes me a helicopter parent.

You have to know your kids. Some teens are calm and stay pretty close to the rules you set out for them. Others thrive on being able to "get away" with whatever they want. Which is your child?

What does your son say about his friends? Do you talk to him about them? My son is pretty honest about his friends. If he is going somewhere with one of his wilder friends we will make a plan to get him there and back safely. We recently attended the wake of a 20 year old woman (a friend's sister) and that has had quite an effect on my son. It was an upsetting experience as this young woman died as a result of her drinking and driving.

In the end you have to just use your judgement. Don't be afraid to limit where he can go and who can accompany him. But don't do it just to do it. Do it for a reason.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:10 AM
 
Location: NC
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i still have a few years (thank goodness! LOL) but I imagine, ill pretty much do like my grandparents did with me, which is (more or less) trust me.

I cant see myself caring if she goes to friends homes or the mall or whatever... but for longer trips, ask permission first.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:22 AM
 
Location: somewhere
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We have always lived in states with graduated licenses, which take alot of pressure off of parents. I did expect to know where they were going and when they planned on being home. Once they had been driving longer, if they were going out of town, they were required to call me when they go there, then call me again when they were getting ready to come back home. My reasoning was that I knew they made it okay, then knew when to expect them back home. Now my 2 older (even though we live far way from them) still call me if they are making long trips to let me know they made it. I never considered it helicopter parenting, just responsible parenting.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:34 AM
 
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I also believe in knowing where they are-I think b/c the mom is overly concerned about her friend's children is when the helicopter mom phrase came in- she always knows whose child is Wild and who drinks etc...You just hope that your child makes the right decision

We have a 1 passenger only rule for one year. I also believe that teens need to have some freedom and learn to make decisions for themselves-
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlsess View Post
I also believe in knowing where they are-I think b/c the mom is overly concerned about her friend's children is when the helicopter mom phrase came in- she always knows whose child is Wild and who drinks etc...You just hope that your child makes the right decision

We have a 1 passenger only rule for one year. I also believe that teens need to have some freedom and learn to make decisions for themselves-
I think it is smart to know which friends are wild and which ones are not. I don't consider that helicopter parenting. If you know your child is spending time with one of his wilder friends you can help your child make plans that keep him safe while still allowing him to have fun and be independent.

I don't believe in keeping teens tied to their parents forever but teens still need guidance. The art of parenting is guiding them towards the right decision but allowing them to choose.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:05 AM
 
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I don't know what difference driving makes in choosing friends. If he was hanging out with these kids before he drove and you were ok with that, it's hard to change that now. If your son hasn't given you reason not to trust him in the past, you should trust him now.

Our oldest is 18 and has been driving for 2 1/2 years now with no issues (knock on wood ). He is away at college now but does not have a car there. Our twins take their license tests in 26 days-not that they aren't counting down or anything. In our state they can have one non-related driver in the car with them for the first 6 months. After that they can have up as many kids as there are seat belts for the next 6 months.

I am not worried about our twin son but our twin daughter tends to get a little too distracted while driving. We have had many, many conversations about this. Last week she was driving to a dr appointment on snowy roads and spun out-BEST thing that could have happened-no one hurt, no damage to the car-scared the carp out of her We have already told her no radio until we are comfortable with her driving alone.

Do we know where they are all the time, no, but then, they are good kids and haven't given us reason not to trust them. They are also only a couple years away from college and they need that autonomy. They have had a lot of freedom for many years because they have earned that.

We DO use this: Teen Safe Driver Program . First, using it gives us a big discount on our kids' insurance, second, it is just another backup for their first year driving. It only records sudden driving movements so it isn't on all the time. The kids almost make a game out of it by trying not to set it off-well if you don't set it off, you are driving safely--they think they are so tricky.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:31 PM
 
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unfortunately, there's nothing can be done when the teens go out in the cars at night..I've had 3, and another getting her liscence this year..I usually lay in bed with my ears wide awake ...listening for the crunch of gravel as they sneak up the driveway in the wee hours of the morn.,..then finally I sleep, and I don't even care that a few more hairs have gone white!!!
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:10 PM
 
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I think most of the places we've lived have now adopted graduated licensing requirements. That makes sense to me -- new drivers by definition don't have as much experience, and having a friend in the car could be distracting. That goes for both the "good" kids and the "wild" ones. I think of that as a pure safety issue.

That said, I don't understand what the wild friend issue has to do with driving. I think there several issues going on here. I think it's unnecessary to track a kid's movements at all times, but also don't think one is being over-protective to ask them not to ride in a car with a new driver. And if the kids ARE wild and are drinking up a storm, driving won't make any difference; they'll do it car or no car. (although making it clear that drunk driving is completely, totally unacceptable would be a good thing)

As far as the friend goes, I think your response -- that you've talked to your son and hope that he will make good decisions -- is perfectly reasonable. It sounds like her kids have had a rough time of it, so understandably she's a little skittish. And you can always have ongoing talks with your son. If he is indeed hanging out with friends who are drinking, and there's driving involved, maybe highlight that fact, and talk about the need for a designated driver, to call you for a ride if it ever becomes necessary, or generally otherwise reinforce the idea that drinking and driving can be deadly.
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