When you surprise your teenager with a set of car keys for their very own car, they will be overjoyed, just like you were. A car to them represents little more than freedom at this age of their lives. For the first time ever, they will be able to go anywhere, whenever they want. However, it’s your job as a parent to kind of crush that excitement. Let their happiness flourish for a moment, but ultimately, you need to bring them back down to earth. Teaching them a set of principles for how to live with their car will serve them well for however long they remain able to drive. It’s really a life skill that doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. But here’s what you need to show them.
Suffering For a Couple of Years
Unfortunately, some young drivers give the whole age bracket of 16–24 year-olds a bad name. That’s why they will need to suffer abnormally high insurance rates for the first couple of years. However, you should teach your teenager to be confident with insurance companies and demand lower quotes if they have proven themselves to be safe and consistently good drivers. Take the initiative by telling them how car insurance works.
Some car insurances decrease annually, while some of the more modern policies decrease every month. This gives your teenager something to aim for because safe driving every month is rewarded with less money being taken from them. Also, stress asking for a quote online so you can see what ballpark they’re in. If they do get into an accident, stress the importance of hiring a car accident lawyer so they can protect themselves.
The Importance of Cleaning
Despite modern cars being made out of sturdy stuff, that doesn’t mean they’re impregnable. Depending on where you live, dirt, mud, sludge, and salted grit can become trapped in the wheel arches, brake discs, suspension, and driveshaft. You must teach your child the importance of cleaning their vehicle both externally and internally. The car can be lifted up on a jack or simply sprayed with a pressure hose underneath. If you have the correct bent nozzle, this shouldn’t be an issue. Otherwise, a good old sponge and a bit of elbow grease will do the trick. Teach your child how to clean their car in a sound routine. Pretty soon, they will realize that adults don’t clean their cars out of fun but as a necessity.
Making a Mess
If you have a child who owns his or her own car, you will know that every week when you look inside, it looks like a hurricane hit it. You need to teach your teenager to be properly hygienic in their car and not throw around used fast-food wrappers or any other trash in their car. This isn’t so much an issue of how to keep their car clean as it is about good discipline and appreciation of their private possessions. Remind them that without their car, they wouldn’t enjoy the freedoms they have, so keeping their car clean is a sign of self-respect.
The very first year of car ownership is going to be very exciting for your kids. Eventually, however, they’ll need to learn how to appreciate and maintain their car. Effective parenting will give them the proper life skills to do just this.