Each stage of parenting has its challenges. When they are infants, the challenge is to survive without sleep. As they enter the toddler years every move is dangerous. I remember hovering over my girls making sure they don’t fall or put something poisonous in their mouths.
The preschool years are about kindergarten readiness. I thought I was in the clear they entered school. Then middle school arrives, and it’s all about drama, and you thank the heavens that it is only three years.
My oldest daughter has entered the high school years. It is downright terrifying. During the previous years, there were daily emails from the school, yes it was too much at the time but know the silence from the highschool is deafening.
Another aspect that is terrifying is that Claire has friends who drive. She is on a swim team with sophomores, juniors, and seniors. It’s a fabulous group of girls and there are times I can’t drive her to activities. However, I just assumed the parents were driving. Claire came home and I said, “I really need to thank Mrs. B for driving you home.” Claire responded nonchalantly, “Mrs. B didn’t drive me home, M brought me home.” “You mean her daughter?”, I stammered. “Yes, she drives,” Claire said matter of factly.
My mouth dropped open and I started thinking about the car seats, the buckles, and other safety features that I obsessed over when she was little. Now, she is getting into the car with another teenager only one or two years older than her. How irresponsible am I that I didn’t realize that the mom wouldn’t be driving home?
What do I do? Should I ban her from getting into a teenager’s car? Claire is leaving for college in three years. How can I send her off without her making some decisions for herself?
We have already had the talk about what to do if she doesn’t feel comfortable getting into a car with a teen or an adult. Claire knows to call me anytime during the day or night.
Ultimately, every family needs to make their own decisions about if a teen should get into another teen’s car.
What do you think? Do you allow your teen to drive with their friends? Why or why not?