One of the most humbling realities of parenting is the fact that children are constantly watching their lives. Whether parents are conscious of it or not, they are impacting the next generation one way or the other. The goal of any parent is to be a good role model for their children, including modeling good driving practices.
Whether kids say anything or not, they watch virtually everything parents do in their presence. They pick up habits, mannerisms, and practices that are directly learned from their parents, both good and bad. Parents can be a powerful influence on their child’s driving skills by practicing safe driving skills themselves.
The number one way parents can model safe driving for their children is to buckle up at all times. No exceptions. This vital practice can mean the difference between life and death in case of a serious auto crash, so parents and teens should always wear their seatbelt. Your children are much more likely to buckle up when you are not in the car if they see you doing it for every trip, regardless of how far you will be traveling in the car.
Another way parents can model safe driving for their children is to avoid aggressive driving. Driving too close to the vehicle in front, speeding, or making risky decisions on the road is not the kind of driving behaviors parents want to pass on to their children. Road rage is the last thing you want your children to learn from you. Parents who model safe, courteous driving promote road safety and prevent reckless teen driving.
Teens look up to their parents and often follow their example without even realizing it. When parents avoid texting and talking on their cell phones while driving, their kids will be encouraged to follow suit. Parents who obey road safety rules and practice kindness on the road teach kids valuable lessons in safe driving practices.
*Photo Courtesy of Alan Cleaver via Creative Common License