Monday, March 19, 2007

Teens and Driving

I'm a little curious as how blended families handle teens and driving situations. Heck, even those families that aren't blended - how do you handle it?

My husband and I will have FOUR teens of legal driving age all within a three year time frame.

I take the position that they CAN NOT get their license until they:

  • prove beyond doubt that are responsible enough to handle it
  • are getting good grades consistently
  • have worked and saved enough money to pay for at least HALF the car

Obviously, NO new cars for the kids. Heck, if I can't afford one, they aren't getting one either.

I'm not going to work myself into a grave and cut corners THAT drastically just to make sure that four kids have their license, have a car, insurance and plate. Nothin' doin'!

So, how would YOU handle it?


TheStepfamilyLife said...

I'm a stepmom to three. I'll admit - the first time I saw one of my stepchildren drive off in MY CAR - it was a heart in throat/can't believe I agreed to this/can't believe they are old enough to drive moment.

I think one of the big issues is insurance. We found out from our insurance company that the kids can't be double-insured by both their mom and us. So if the skid gets into an accident in one of our cars but is insured by her - it just opens all kinds of icky issues. The rules may vary on this depending on where you live and your insurance provider.

I think it is reasonable to put some requirements on the stepkids and driving. We made a conscious choice that we would not "buy them a car" and their mom has an old car that she lets two of them use gratis. The other skid earned money and bought his own car - he is away at college now.

If the other two skids want to use one of our cars they "borrow" it. They also did some practice driving in our cars as they worked toward their licenses, so we felt comfortable with their ability to handle the cars. Different sized cars really do handle differently, so I think it's important they get some practice - with us - in the car. When they borrow the car, they also get subjected to a barrage of questions - where are you going, who is going with you, when will you be home, do you have a cell phone that is charged in the car with you. If the kids are willing to put up with all of this - and satisfy our curiosity - then they can use the car.

I like your blog - it's like an online support group! I find a lot of therapy in my writing too - I write an online column and a blog about blended famlies and my life as a stepmom at - feel free to drop by and leave a comment.