Friday, April 17, 2015

where the rubber meets the road~

it happened. our oldest son is growing up. another milestone under his belt. i was not ready for him to start walking or talking...let alone be driving.
he sent me this picture as a fully licensed, drive alone motorist. does he look like an adult here in this picture to you? he does to me.

i have been asked multiple times about how we are parenting through the teen growing years? driving is just one thing i will fill you in on today. if you were to ask our oldest son what type of parents we are? i am sure his answer would be "super strict, super loving & super crazy." i agree. we are.
the privilege of driving for mac was not just given to him because he was "of age." years of watching him mature we slowly added responsibilities. his response showed us where he was. mac is our first child and so he does have those "typical first child tendencies." but he was ready. you will know if your child is ready and responsible. here is a little help. lysa terkeurst, who i love. she blogs and is a fantastic author wrote this years ago. i pulled it from her blog and matt and i instituted it with our driver. bookmark this! you will blink and need it sooner than you think.

Teen Driving Contract:
General Principles
The new driver must initial each point to show it is read and understood:
____ Permission to drive is not a legal right.  It is granted to me by my parents, who are under no obligation to do so, and who may withdraw the privilege at any time.  I understand that I will only be allowed to drive when I am willing to abide by the rules and regulations established by my parents.
I recognize that driving a car is an extremely serious matter.  I recognize that… 
_______ Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death of people 16-20 years old.
_______ I am more likely to die in an auto accident than from any other cause.
_______ Recklessness or errors that I make while driving could kill or hurt me,passengers in the car I drive, and/ people in other cars and pedestrians.  Among those that could be victims of my driving mistakes are:   Infants, children, my friends, my family members, parents of children, and many others.
_______ I will abide by laws regulating driving.  I will observe and abide by posted speed limits.  I will abide by rules established by my parents. I recognize these are for my protection and the protection of others.
_______ I understand that the car I drive is property of my parents.  Even a car that is a “gift” to me is still, legally, the property of my parents. I drive the car only with permission.
_______ I understand that my parents and I must be able to reach a written agreement in order for me to be permitted to drive.  I understand that the terms of this agreement may be changed based on how I handle the freedom and responsibility of driving.  The rules will get stricter if my parents judge that I am not doing well.  It will get somewhat less strict if my parents judge that I am doing well.
_______I must study and be aware of the terms of this contract.  “Forgetting” any part of the contract is not an excuse.  I will follow the specific rules as outlined below.
  • _______If my parents deny me permission to drive, for whatever reason, I will abide by this and give them my keys immediately with no argument or debate.    
 ________If I drive in defiance of my parents’ order not to drive, this contract is cancelled and no driving will be permitted for at least one year.    
  RULES-Category A
These rules, if violated, will lead to indefinite suspension of driving privileges.  This is the most serious set of rules.  I understand that I may lose my driving privileges indefinitely if any one of these is violated even once.  
1.      No alcohol use/abuse.  Even though some minors drink, as a minor, it is illegal for me to drink alcohol. I understand that my parents do not permit me to drink.  However, if I do so, I will not drive for 24 hours after my last use of alcohol in ANY amount. 
No drug use/abuse. I will not drive for 72 hours after my last use of any “substance.”  In this agreement, “substance” means any drug or chemical (including but not limited to marijuana, pills, inhalants, and other drugs) which would be expected by my parents to alter my ability to drive. There is no acceptable amount of any substance of this kind.  If I use any drugs, I will not drive for 72 hours.  This rule may include medications prescribed to me or over-the-counter medications.  In the cases of legal medications, I will inform my parents of any such medications I have taken so that they can judge whether taking these medications will interfere with my driving ability. Furthermore:
a.       No riding with others who have used alcohol or drugs. I will not ride as a passenger with any driver who has used alcohol or any substance as defined above.  I will not ride with any one who it would be reasonable to think may have used alcohol or drugs.
b.      Alternatives to riding with others who have used alcohol or drugs. If I find myself in a situation as described above, I will contact my parents or another designated adult to arrange for transportation.  I understand that my parents will appreciate that behavior and will make every effort to avoid asking me a lot of questions about it.
c.       No alcohol or drugs in car.  I will not allow alcohol or illegal drugs in the car.  This includes over the counter medications (cough medicines, etc.) when I have reason to believe someone has them in their possession for purposes of abuse.  My parents will hold me responsible for any alcohol or drugs in the car, even if they don’t belong to me or it is the fault of someone riding in my car.
2.      No thrill-seeking/stunts. I will not engage in any thrill-seeking behavior while driving.  I will not drive for recreation.  Driving too fast, racing of all kinds, and any kind of “stunt” involving a car is NOT ALLOWED.  Driving is for transportation ONLY.
3.     Informing parents about accidents & police encounters. I will inform my parents about any and all tickets, accidents, and encounters with police (including warnings.)
4.      No firearms or other weapons.  I will not drive with any guns or other deadly weapons in the vehicle.
RULES-Category B
Violations will lead to suspension of driving privileges for up to three months.
1.      Permission to DriveI must ask permission to drive each time I drive.  Exceptions to this rule will be given for regularly scheduled transportation to school and work.  I will ask permission to drive to specific locations and will discuss the route planned.  I will be certain that my parents know where I am.  I will not make unscheduled stops or side trips.
2.      Curfew.  I may not drive after 10:30 p.m.  This curfew will be reviewed and possibly revised when I
meet with my parents on___________________________(scheduled date to revise contract).
3.      Limit on passengers.  During the first month of driving, I will not be allowed to have any passengers.  I may ask permission for specific exceptions.   This will be adjusted, if things go well, when we revise the contract.  I will, however, continue to have limits on passengers.  
4.      Off-Limit Areas.  I will not drive on streets, highways, or in areas that are designated as off-limits. I understand that greater flexibility in these matters will come as I gain experience and show that I am honoring the agreement.  For the time being, the following roads and areas are to be avoided:
5.       No one else drives vehicle.  I will not permit any other person to drive the car without my parents’ specific permission for each specific case. 

Violations may lead to suspension of driving privileges for up to six weeks.
1.   Weather/road conditions.  I will respect weather and road conditions, slowing down as needed for safety.  I will contact my parents to discuss weather or poor road conditions when I am out driving.
2.   Emotional upset.  Knowing that judgment and driving skills are altered by emotions, I will not drive when I am upset or angry.  If upset, I will contact my parents for transportation and I reserve the right to maintain my privacy regarding personal matters. My parents agree not to ask a lot of unnecessary questions.
3.   Taking care of vehicle.  It is my responsibility to protect the car I drive. I will keep it reasonably clean and maintained.  I have some specific responsibilities regarding the maintenance of the car as noted below:
4.   Passenger behavior. I will not allow my passengers to behave in such a way as to damage the car or distract me while driving.
5.   Seatbelts. I will wear my seatbelt at all times and require all passengers to wear them.
6.   Friends ride only with their parents’ permission.  When transporting my friends, I will be reasonably sure that they have their parents’ permission to ride with me.
7.   Thank You For Not Smoking. I will not allow smoking in the car.  I will not smoke in the car.
8.   No eating & driving.  I will not eat while driving.
9.   Car audio system. After the first month, after clearing this with my parents, I will be allowed to have the stereo on but will make no adjustments to it other than changing the volume while driving.  Under no circumstances will I change a CD or cassette while driving.  I will change these only when stopped or pulled over.
10.  Other electronics.  I will not use cell phones, MP3 players, or any other electronic device while driving.  I will pull over for other operations of cell phones and electronic equipment.  
11. No rushing.  Accidents are more likely to happen when I rush.  I am more likely to rush when I leave late.  Therefore, my parents reserve the right to not allow me to drive unless I leave by a time they specify. 
12. Attention to Driving.   I will not do things while driving that distracts me from the road.  No applying makeup, getting things in and out of a purse or back-pack, etc. 

1.   Tickets and moving violations will result in suspension of my driving privileges for a period to be determined by my parents.     I will pay my fines for driving-related tickets.
2.   Financial.  I will make certain financial contributions to the purchase of the car, maintenance of the car, and/or insurance.  My contributions are currently as follows:
            I will inspect the car and take full responsibility for the cars physical and mechanical condition if I choose to drive it. (if I see or experience a problem I will let my parents know before driving the vehicle away from home).     
3.   Family obligations. I agree to provide transportation to family members at the directive of my parents.  Fulfilling these obligations is a condition of my use of a car.  Sometimes these responsibilities will override my own desires and interests in using the car.  I understand these family obligations take priority and are a priviledge and I will help with a grateful heart.
4.   General life responsibilities.  I agree that I must be responsible to drive safely and that my parents must believe I am relatively responsible in order to allow me to drive.  They may, therefore, take into account how I handle my general responsibilities, including schoolwork, employment, household duties.  I will also maintain a respectful attitude.  I will not ask my parents to allow me to drive when I am rude and disrespectful to them or to others.
5.   Right to clear expectations.  My parents have a right to expect me to be responsible.  I have a right to be told what this means.  For this reason, I may ask my parents for clarification of their requirement that I “be responsible.”
6.  Changes in this agreement.  I understand that this contract will be made more strict at any time my parents believe that is the best thing to do.  I understand that if I consistently abide by these rules that my parents will work with me to make the contract less strict as I gain experience.  However, I understand that–bottom line–it is my parents’ choice and responsibility to change or not change the contract. We will review this agreement and perhaps make changes to it on ______________(date) or earlier if my parents or I wish to do so. 

:  I agree to abide by the rules in this contract and I accept the consequences and penalties if I do not.  I recognize my parents’ authority in deciding if I may drive.  That authority is final until I am an adult living independent of my parents. 

DRIVER_________________________________    _________________  (date)
PARENT(s)/Guardian(s) ___________________    _________________  (date)
PARENT(s)/Guardian(s) ___________________    _________________  (date)
{ Lysa TerKeurst | TerKeurst Driving Contract | }

strict...yes, through...yes, worth it...yes. i encourage you to start now with your child. mold them into a mature motorist. ya now what? i actually had to start with myself. no more texting and driving, adhering to all traffic signs. "do as i say, not as i do" will not apply when you have a teen watching you drive. secondly, follow through. if there is an infraction follow through. act and discipline. that is the hardest part of being "under contract." take it seriously and they will too!

this is where the rubber meets the road, literally. 

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