One day my son came home with a dilemma. He asked a friend for a ride home from high school. Although she was doing him a favor, she began texting while driving and he didn’t know what to do. When he told me, I could understand his reluctance to speak up, but I explained that saying something could save both their lives. Teens today just have a hard time staying off their phones.
Our guest blogger today, Donna Fitzgerald, has an interesting perspective to share on teaching teens about texting and driving. She is the mother of two teenage daughters, Chloe and Stephanie.
Here is Donna’s perspective:
Raising teenage daughters can be tough- and overcoming the challenges of keeping your children safe when they first begin driving can be difficult. With the current age, teens are over-connected with their social networking platforms, through the constant use of smart phones. With new drivers, its often challenging to have our teens pay more attention to the road, than their phone.
I am saddened when I learn of teens who were severely injured, or lives were taken because of automobile accidents. Majority of the time, the teen was either texting on their phone, or engaging in some other type of distracting behavior. Usually, these accidents are very preventable and should be of more concern to parents raising teens today.
The task of having the first talk with your teens, to discuss the serious consequences of texting and driving can be overwhelming. You might ask yourself- where do I begin? Will my child take me seriously? How do I effectively communicate how serious texting and driving can be? With the teenage mindset, (my own daughters included) most of our children believe they have all the knowledge in the world regarding the seriousness of texting and driving.
I too, was a parent who struggled to have my two teenage daughters listen, and seriously comprehend my conversation with them regarding the topic. Most of the time, my daughter would say “Mom- I would never text and drive,” or, “Mom- do you actually think something like that could happen to me?” In reality, we are all thinking- Yes, it could happen to you (and you are wishing your teens would take you seriously)!
Recently, to overcome this sometimes extremely difficult conversation to have, I came across a resource designed to assist parents in communicating effectively with their teens. The resource, How to Talk to Teens about Distracted Driving, gave me excellent tips on ways that I can protect my two daughters as they begin driving. The guide was extremely easy to navigate, and extremely beneficial for helping your teens take you more seriously.
In my experience, one of the greatest and most compelling areas of the resource guide that my two daughters found useful (and actually listened to) was the section video titled “One Text, Two Lives – The consequences of Texting and Driving.” The video is located under the Q & A Section of the website.
Be sure to visit the site for tips regarding initiating the very important conversation with your teens. The site even features a section for teenagers regarding what they can do to protect their friends while driving.