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How To Drive Your Teen & Friends Around Town Without Mortifying Them

By Guest Contributor

By Elizabeth of Busy Mom

1. You can’t.

Guide to Everything Archives2. 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.

Guest Contributor
About the Author

Guest Contributor

We often publish pieces by guest contributors. If you’re interested in being one, please drop us a line at contact[at]alphamom[dot]com.


We often publish pieces by guest contributors. If you’re interested in being one, please drop us a line at contact[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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Fairly Odd Mother

So, you probably shouldn’t start singing along to whatever is on the radio, even if you know it, right? I’m not looking forward to these days—I can feel frumpy and old enough without the kids adding to it!


Personally, I’m looking forward to the embarrassment years…how else can a parent exact their revenge?


1. You can’t.
Yep from my experience I would have to agree with this completely! I try not to though.


I loved this, especially #2! I totally agree with listening. I’ve learned to so much more about their daily lives when they are chatting in the car with their friends. Thanks for the reminder. I have embarrassed my children many times, but they’ve gotten pretty good at laughing with me. But I must say I recently mortified my teens (14 & 15) when a friend and I dropped them off to play basketball and we were heading to watch Mamma Mia (again!) and were playing our music just a TAD too loud with the windows down. They have actually forgiven… Read more »