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Speed Thrills...

...but kills. Teach your teenager the importance of driving carefully and responsibly, from a young age itself.

Does your teenager drive? Now days, more and more parents are giving cars to their children at a younger and younger age. It doesn't matter if their child is not yet eighteen. As any person with money knows, a license can be bought with ease - even if you are a year or two shy of the legal limit.

What is surprising though is that often parents don't mind sidestepping the law and letting their children take up driving earlier.

Parents often feel that if their child is perfectly able and capable of driving at sixteen, why should he wait until eighteen before getting a license?

Abide by the law

By cheating the system, you give your child the subtle message that he is above the law, and that it is okay to circumvent the law, if you can get away. Also, if you would like your child to uphold principles of honesty and integrity, you are not setting a good example.

Discourage recklessness

Teenagers, by their very nature and due to lack of experience, tend to be reckless in nature. This sense of recklessness gets magnified when they are with friends. It is easy for them to get carried away when driving, as driving is a new, exciting experience for them. So, it is not uncommon to see that the rashest and fastest driver on the road is a teenager or someone just out of his teens. This is because the very act of driving a car is a source of great excitement for him - as is understandable, since it is a new experience for him. Driving is the first step towards achieving independence, which is why it can give such a rush to a person. And youngsters often get a great rush from driving fast.

Teenagers often think they are indestructible, because experience hasn't taught them otherwise. Yes, experience is a great teacher and its lessons can range from mild ones, a dent, to harsh ones, a death.

Accompany him

Once your child is old enough to drive, go with him a number of times before you let him take the car on his own. Make sure he is a confident driver. Confidence doesn't mean speed. In fact, nervous drivers speed more, perhaps in an attempt to make up for their lack of nerves, or because they don't have the best judgement.

Give him practice

Is your child a stable driver? Does he keep enough distance between cars, or does he brake just before banging into the vehicle in front. Most importantly, are you comfortable when sitting with him in the car? Many parents, and their children, think that it is perfectly normal for them to be nervous when their child is at the wheel. This is far from the truth. If you are not at ease when your child is driving, if you feel he brakes too much, too late, drives too close to other cars, chances are, you are not imagining it. But instead of yelling at him and stressing him out, causing him to make more mistakes and think you are impossible to please, keep your temper and give your child more practice.

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