How To Drive Your Teen & Friends Around Town Without Mortifying Them
By Elizabeth of Busy Mom
1. You can’t.
2. Prepare the car before you leave home
At some point, you’ll be asked, “Is this the only car we have?” when it’s time to leave the house. After it’s established that you can’t procure a new convertible for the trip to the movies, take a look at your car.
Though it’s likely that your teen made the mess in the first place, everyone will appreciate a quick sweep of the car to remove trash and miscellaneous little kid items that are “so embarrassing.”
3. Make sure you know where you’re going
Do not believe your child when you have to pick up a new friend and they tell you, “Oh, I know where they live.” If you do believe them? The directions will inevitably be, “It’s near a big hill.” Not only will you be late to wherever you are going, whatever else happens automatically becomes your fault.
4. Be as unobtrusive as possible
Since their main objective is to appear to their friends that they have gotten to their destination on their own, even if they’re 12, you have to be as unobtrusive as possible. Listen more than you speak, you can actually learn a lot that way.
5. Don’t be too quiet
Though it seems to contradict the above, you will be deemed “weird” if you are too quiet. Plan your speaking part wisely. A neutral “hello” and “goodbye” when someone gets in or out of the car is good. Showcasing your vast knowledge of Top 40 lyrics is probably not a good idea, but a carefully timed question about whatever artist is on the radio at the time is usually OK.
Does the fear of cyberbullying keep you up at night? There’s a resource out there for you and your tween/ teen: NSTeens.org by The Center National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Let this site be your go-to site.