The excitement that a driver’s license brings to a teenager is one of the few things that hasn’t changed over the years. Even though you (and every other parent) have gone through that stage when you were young, it may appear to be a baffling situation when you’re on the other side of the keys. Although each teenager is unique, you’ll find some basic reasons and motivating factors that fuel that feeling that he can’t get a license fast enough.
Independence and Freedom
To a teen, getting a driver’s license means more independence and freedom. That little piece of plastic gets him one step closer to being able to get his own car. Having a car means he doesn’t have to ask Mom for a ride to the mall or his friend’s house. He can take a girl to the movies without having Dad acting as a chauffeur. Even if you’ve established some car rules and a curfew, the elated feeling of freedom that comes with having the ability to come and go is quite strong.
Feeling Grown Up
Teens hate to be treated like young children. Having a driver’s license and getting behind the wheel allows that teenager to feel responsible and adult-like. Even letting him drive the two of you to the grocery store or post office can make him feel grown up.
Once he has passed his written exam, taken the behind-the-wheel test and received that coveted driver’s license, he will be beaming with pride. Everyone will notice his happy grin. He gets to join the ranks of his fellow classmates and friends that have gone before him. He has shown the world that he’s responsible and skilled at driving. You may have a different opinion of his driving skills and still cringe at the idea of handing him the keys, but he will be feeling great about himself.
You probably remember what it felt like to meet up with your friends while you were driving your first car. The joy a teenager feels when he gets to drive himself is hard to miss. He gets to show off the car and feel cool with his buddies. Just make sure to have a serious talk beforehand and set some definite guidelines on road and driving rules, especially if it’s your car. You may even want to draw up a driving contract to clearly define your expectations and rules. You could set the rule that he can only drive to and from school at first and that he shouldn’t have passengers in his car. Some states have an established law on driver age and number of passengers anyway. The American Academy of Pediatrics also suggests establishing driving rules such as no talking on phones, texting, driving while tired and night driving.