How to Cope With a Teen Driver

Riding/living with a teenage driver can be a difficult experience for everyone. This wikiHow article is just to give you a bit of insight and a few tips for coping with these scenarios. This article is designed for parents. See the 'Tips' section for ideas for siblings. Keep reading!


  1. Image titled Cope With a Teen Driver Step 1
    Know that the teenage driver is experiencing a flood of emotions/thoughts just as you are. Different emotions, maybe, but not definitely. Know how they are feeling before blaming them.
  2. Image titled Cope With a Teen Driver Step 2
    Try discussing the scenario with them. If they are just learning to drive, they may be scared to be driving. If they are experienced at driving, maybe they are making plans to move out. Do they have a job? Are they paying for their own insurance?
  3. Image titled Cope With a Teen Driver Step 3
    See if they have any questions that you may be able to answer. It's quite likely that they have TONS, and remember to keep the door open for future questions!
  4. Image titled Cope With a Teen Driver Step 4
    Give them some tips. Be tactful however. Don't yell at them and then tell them how to do something, rather show them how something has helped you.
  5. Image titled Cope With a Teen Driver Step 5
    Are you paying for their insurance? Is the price too high for you to handle? Why not suggest that they get a job. Tell them that driving is a privilege, and that if they want that privilege to continue, they have to be responsible and earn it through their work, just as an adult would have to. This will teach them budgeting skills for the future.
  6. Image titled Cope With a Teen Driver Step 6
    Do you have other children that you are constantly taking places? Maybe your teenage driver could take a bit of your load! On the way to school, they can take their siblings to their school also. Just remember, if this is going to make the older child late for school/work, that this may not be an option. Do not put a burden on the young adult that they may not be able to handle.
  7. Image titled Cope With a Teen Driver Step 7
    Does your teenage driver have their own car? If not, this can obviously be a very difficult situation. See if you can help the teenager to get a job (if they do not already have one.) then, drive them to work for a few weeks (or months, if need be) so that they have enough money to get a car. Or, maybe you could get them a car, then they can drive themselves to work, and they can pay the monthly payments for the car. That would take the majority of the cost (aside from the down-payment) off of your shoulders, but would give the starting grounds for the teenager.
  8. Image titled Cope With a Teen Driver Step 8
    Is your teenager abusing his/her new-found freedom? Well, if they have their own car, pay for their insurance, and have a job, there isn't a TON you can do. However, you can assure them that bad behavior leads to bad ends. Are their grades low? Are they hanging out with the wrong people? Are they staying out too late? Discuss it with them. Driving is a privilege, a privilege that you can take away from them. Be ready to compromise your own standards. STICK TO IT! Give them a curfew if they are staying out too late. If they can stick to it for 2 months, then you give them an hour and a half later curfew. If they are hanging with the wrong crowd, tell them that you will be inquiring where they will be going for the next two months, and that you will be popping in whenever you feel like doing so. Are their grades low? Tell them that they will not be allowed to go out past X time until they get their grades up to your standards.
  9. Image titled Cope With a Teen Driver Step 9
    Do not EVER yell at, criticize, or lie to a teenager. If they get their licence the soonest possible, they will have only two more years that they have to spend with you, (in the US,) so if you upset them too much, what can you expect? They will just want to get out of there as soon as possible. And you don't want that, do you?
  10. Image titled Cope With a Teen Driver Step 10
    DISCUSS the situation with them. Put a sticky note on their dashboard saying "____, be at home at _:__ tonight, I need to talk to you. Love, Mom (or whatever title works).


  • If staying home is not an option, try concentrating on something. The road, for example. Watch those little reflectors go by.
  • Really, all in all, you're just going to have to deal with it. You'll be there some day. Learn from their mistakes!
  • Siblings often have a hard time coping with a teenage driver. The riding often makes them feel sick. If this is the case, simply ask to stay home!
  • But think, if you need a ride, your sibling is a good way to get there, free of charge!
  • Smelling a lemon is often helpful as it takes your mind off your stomach, and puts it on your nose.


  • DO NOT ever lie, scold harshly, or threaten the teen.
  • BE SAFE! Wear a seat belt!

Article Info

Categories: Defensive Driving Skills & Safety