You may have read my five tips for teaching a teen to drive earlier this week. If you did, I hope you found it very useful for your new driver. Now it’s time to establish some ground rules:
The DOs and DON’Ts of Driving Your Parent’s Car
New Driver DOs
DO put gas in the car if you have used it several times and you see the gas gauge getting lower. The “F” means full, the “E” means empty. As the gauge moves closer to E, the gas is running out. The car doesn’t run without gas!
DO appreciate that you are allowed to drive the car at all — to anywhere besides work and/or school. It is a privilege, not a right.
DO take all your trash from Dunkin’ Donuts, Panera, Target, Dairy Queen and ULTA out of the car when you get home. That means all cups, bags, straw wrappers, receipts and napkins. The trash can is that circular object with a plastic bag inside that smells kind of funky (see pic).
DO volunteer to run errands for your parents. Every time you run to the grocery store or go pick up your sister/brother from practice it gives you a golden ticket to the next Dunkin’ run you want to make to go get a Chai (by the way, your Mom might enjoy one if you are going!).
DO wash the outside and/or vacuum the inside of the car unexpectedly. Again, ensuring your next request to use the car will be graciously approved.
New Driver DON’Ts
DON’T leave the sunroof open overnight — multiple times — when your parents have told you to close it. One of these days it is going to rain and that will be a hefty bill for you to pay when we need to replace the car interior. Think of the Chai teas you will miss out on!
DON’T assume that OUR car is YOUR car. If you’d like to go somewhere using our car, ASK. DON’T tell.
DON’T think we don’t know, or won’t find out, if you go somewhere you are not supposed to in our car. Remember we were sneaky teens at one time too. We’ve read the book, seen the movie and lived to lecture our kids about it!
DON’T forget to move the seat back to its original position when you are finished driving. Being six inches taller than Mom and six inches shorter than Dad means we either fall into the seat, or knock our knees against the steering wheel, when we get in the car after you.
Parents: DO feel free to hang this in a prominent place in your teen’s line of sight so they can commit it to memory!