Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cars and the Rules of the Road

   The fourth topic in my 5C's series is cars.  Years ago, I found an article in my Sunday paper which outlined tips for parents who were dealing with preteens and teenagers.  We implemented all five of them with truly positive results.  We've already discussed our family's experience with cooperation, curfew, and cash. 
    Matt got his license on his 16th birthday.  In our state, kids can drive at 15 1/2.  We started out practicing in parking lots on the weekends.  Before long, I was the co-pilot while Matt was driving  to school and from school.  I was happy that Matt was forced to drive in winter weather, and we both knew he was ready for his driving test in July.  Even at sixteen, my son was able to set goals, then get a plan to see it through .  He had saved enough money by early spring to pay his half of  Driver's Ed.  He had already calculated what class he would need , in order to be finished before his birthday.  Because of his success with the other C's (cooperation, curfew and cash), Matt was self directed and solutions oriented. 
     Matt's godparents gave him their thirteen year old Cutlass.  It had high miles, but cool tee tops, and it was in pretty good shape.  He was thrilled to have his own wheels!  We got an estimate of all repairs, and Matt was able to get  the work done by asking for cash for his birthday gifts. 
     One important issue still had to be addressed.  Car insurance for teenage boys is expensive.  We learned that our insurance companies gives a "good student discount".  Matt could earn this by making honor roll, and it could be extended each renewal, by maintaing his average.   We told him that our first priority was that he be a good student.   If Matt could make the honor roll, then we would pay the balance.  By now, we knew our son well enough to know he would take advantage of this.  At the time, we did not know how much  honor roll grades would help him earn a college scholarship.
      As I've said each time before, we never expected to get added benefits.  We just wanted to capitalize on a discount.  Of course, by now our son was handling his college courses, playing high school sports, and working part time.  He was a good student who kept his curfew.  He was considerate, and a great role model to his younger cousins.  He could be as proud of himself, as we were of him. 
     I hope these suggestions work as well for you.  Since every situation is different, please take what you like, and leave the rest.....have a good week everyone....and the beat goes on......the beat goes on........

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