Explaining the importance of the no-texting-while-driving rule to your teen

The invincibility of the teenage spirit combined with the endless need to fit in and socialize with peers can be a deadly combination. Make sure your teen knows to be focusing on the road, not their phone, with these talking tips.

Teenager driver

The deadly consequences

Teens have heard about their peers dying while texting and driving. The problem is that kids their age never feel like it could happen to them. Sit your child down and explain that they’re not invincible, that they mean the world to you and you couldn’t bear to see them pass away in such a tragedy. You might not be able to get through to their invincible core, but tugging at their heartstrings with your love will almost always do the trick.

Personal expectations

You hold your child in higher esteem than you do their peers, and you should let them know that your expectations are high for them. Making the right, responsible decisions now will lead to a greater way of living down the road, when your teen won’t feel the need to compulsively check emails, texts, Twitter and Facebook every few seconds. Tell your teen you’ll be disappointed if they misuse their cell phone while on the road. Driving is difficult enough. Driving with your eyes off the road is a whole new, terrifying beast. Let them know they’re smart, and smart decisions come with intelligence.

Boundaries and consequences

If you use it while driving, you lose it. It’s as simple as that. Texting while driving impairs the person behind the wheel in the same way being intoxicated might. Except with texting, your teen can snap out of it with a bit of common sense. If they decide to text while drive, there need to be consequences.

You can decide how severe the punishment will be, but purchasing programs like Sprint Guardian might help you keep track of what your teen is doing. Guardian shuts off all talk and text capability while your teen is driving and at school, which means there’s one less thing to be distracted by when their attention needs to be focused. If texting and talking while driving are incessant problems, perhaps it’s time to eliminate the variable altogether by taking away their phone. Use this as a last resort, and trust your child until they’ve proven they don’t deserve it.

More reading

Kids and cell phones: What you need to know
Lessons all teens should know about texting
Teaching kids about cell phone safety


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