A report from Liberty Mutual found that two-thirds of teens mirror parents’ distracted driving habits. Teens have been told time and time again not to drive distracted, but nothing rings more true than “monkey see, monkey do.”
Your teenager may have you convinced they’re responsible and independent, ready to get their license. While you’ve committed to practicing a couple hours a week, teaching them how to parallel park and park uphill, I’m here to remind you that you’ve been teaching them how to drive since before they sat behind the wheel.
People begin learning to drive the first time they observe an adult’s driving behavior. For me, it was my parents.
I recall the days I would sit in the back seat watching my dad fiddle with the music and chew sunflower seeds, while blasting cold air – turning the car into an ice box – just to help keep him awake on long road trips. My mom was notorious for taking a mug of coffee with her in the car, not a travel mug, but a ceramic open top mug that she had to hold the whole time she drove to drop me off at school. Kids observe what our parents/guardians do behind the wheel, then begin to accept that it’s safe and ok to do it, too. Remember, parents are a model for life.