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When I traveled home from the hospital on a sunny day in April, I was full of joy and fear at the same time. I was so looking forward to being a mom to my daughter and having a family. Several questions popped into my head at that moment. Driving her home in her car seat made it all finally feel real. Would I feed her enough? Would she sleep enough? Would she be OK in her crib alone? Never did it cross my mind that these were actually the easy times.
Fast forward 16 years later and two sessions of driver’s ed later, she is getting ready to get her driver’s license. She’s ready for the wind in her hair, the freedom of the open road and fun weekends with her friends. I, on the other hand am totally not feeling it. This is a first for me. I’ve always been a mom that has encouraged her to do anything. For the first time in 16 years, I wanted to hold her back, to protect her, to keep her home for just a little longer.
I spent a few days contemplating what I should do next. How should I respond? Was there any way to avoid the inevitable?
My mom saw my struggle and asked me if there was anything she could help me with. She’s always been great about letting me make decisions while being there to offer support and wisdom. She explained to me 5 tips to make this stage less scary. I was all ears as she started a conversation I so needed to have.
Here’s what she said:
1. Everybody goes through the scariness at one point or another.Don’t feel alone. Find comfort in the fact that its just a part of growing up. Teens get their driver’s licenses every day.
2. Being a parent is full of benefits and its full of responsibilities as well. It’s your responsibility to help her be an independent adult. It’s also a benefit to you to not have to drive her everywhere. You’ll have so much more time to get other things done.
3. Trust your daughter. She has never been an inattentive or a dare devil. She has always been a good decision maker. She will continue to do that in her driving too.
4. Laugh. Sometimes it’s a big release to laugh at yourself. Laughing is better than crying or worrying. You’ll make better decisions after a good laugh session.
5. She also suggested that I call my State Farm agent. They deal with parents and teen drivers every single day. They’ll provide you with a ton of information.
I was really surprised on how much the agent filled me in on helping a teen be safer on the road. They have safety classes, a good student discount and tons of other tips available to help you be prepared. With all the help that State Farm has given us, my mom was right about them helping to take the scary out of teen driving!!
Whew! With the help of my amazing mom, my awesome State Farm agent and a lot of deep breathing, I think I’m good with this whole driving thing. On top of that, I’m smiling more and that’s always a great thing.
Like a good neighbor State Farm is there.
How did you deal with a teen driver? Did you have anyone give you some great advice about the situation? Is there anything you would do different after the fact?
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by State Farm via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of State Farm.