Let’s face it, as a teen you’re not the most experienced driver on the road, now add texting to that and you have an accident just waiting to happen – possibly a fatal one. We want our teens to have their phones for emergencies, but at the same time we can’t be by their sides every time they leave the house and even worse, get behind the wheel of a car. To a teen, one of the most important things in the world is that text coming in right now! The fact is most teens are addicted to texting and have no problem ignoring the world around them to answer a text. It is unfortunately part of living in a social media driven society, and is the cause of nearly 25% of all car accidents. So what do we do as parents to keep our teens from texting while driving?
When trying to tackle the herculean task of getting through to a teen while talking to them openly about the dangers of texting and driving, there are other things you can do. One of the most effective ways to teach a teen is to lead by example. Make it a solid habit not to answer any texts while driving your car, obviously all of the time but especially when your children are in the car with you. When receiving a text or a call while driving, make it an obvious point that you are ignoring it and can get it when you reach your destination – NOT AT A STOPLIGHT. Our children are sponges and soak up everything around them. If you’re leading by example, they will pick up on it.
Also make it a rule that before they leave the house in a car, the only texts or calls from you will be an emergency. If they receive a text from you while they are driving, then they know it’s an emergency and should pull into a parking lot and check your text. But be sure you are ONLY texting them unless it is absolutely necessary. Sending them a text, asking them to bring milk home is not an emergency. Tell them when they are no longer driving it’s okay for you to contact them for the time being. When they hit the road again, they should tell you texts are off limits and so on. This will only work if there are repercussions for not following the guidelines of the rules. If they don’t follow the rules, they lose their phones for an allotted time frame that you are clear about up front. You as a parent have to sick to the rules as well. Remember – lead by example.
If you feel the above ideas are not working, you can invest in a texting-blocking app. A lot of parents install hands-free software in their teen’s cars to encourage them to use speech to text…which is not a good idea. Research shows that hands-free systems are even more dangerous. Your child should not text or talk while driving. Cut the problem off at the chock point. Install an app that blocks their teens from being able to text while driving. For a list of apps that block texting while driving- CLICK HERE.
To Read even more ideas to control texting a driving, click on the link to Modernmom.com