How do I convince my 17 year old she needs to learn to drive?

Christina - posted on 06/30/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I have a 16 and 17, both girls and total opposites. The younger of the two drives, rides dirt bikes and works on cars. Meanwhile her sister refuses to even try to get her learner's permit.......

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Michelle - posted on 07/03/2009

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I gave my son a deadline to get his learner's permit. I told him that I wanted to respect that he wasn't ready but needed to know when he was. This gave him some control over the situtation. He picked the end of March. It was the very last day of March before we went in and got the permit. Once he got the permit, he didn't want to drive. I figured out that it was all based on fear. So, I started out in parking lots, just around the block, took it real slow. Didn't insist on him driving everyday. Slowly, he gained a little more confidence. It seemed like I was pushing the whole time. However, a year and a half later he is driving himself to and from work and is enjoying the sense of freedom. Just being patient but firm did the trick for me. Of course, every child responds differently but there's my advice!

Lisa - posted on 07/01/2009

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Is there a reason that you are eager for her to start driving? Driving is a huge responsibility, and she needs to feel ready to take on that responsibility it's not something that can be forced. I didn't get my license until I was in my 20's (partly because I witnessed first hand what can happen when someone isn't responsible while driving when one of my best friends was hit and killed by a drunk driver in front of me).

If the reason you want her to drive is because you don't want to chauffeur her around, then stop and let her find alternatives like walking, biking, bus etc.

Keep in mind that driving a car is expensive (insurance, fuel, maintenance), and not as environmentally responsible as the above listed alternatives.

Renee - posted on 03/27/2014

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Frankly I'm amazed at many of the answers, but wholeheartedly agree with those suggesting that a parent not force their child into such a big responsibility.

As to the others, putting your convenience over the safety of your teens...it's appalling to me.

My son is in his early 20's and has had his permit a year. We've done some driving but he's simply not comfortable nor competent enough behind the wheel yet. So I drive him to work and take him where he wants to go. It's an inconvenience that I call "part and parcel with parenthood" that didn't end simply because he crossed some arbitrary line that made him an "adult."

Besides that, driving is only a step into adulthood in our insane society which values independence above anything else. It is absolutely possible to be an adult and NOT drive.

When he's ready, when your daughter is ready, it WILL happen. And if it doesn't, they will eventually find another means of transportation that isn't the Mom Cab.

Suzzeq369 - posted on 09/07/2013

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My son will be 18 next month, we have renewed his permit 3 times. He NEVER wants to drive. I'm glad i'm not alone. :)

Leesa - posted on 07/11/2009

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I understand my daughter did not want to drive we sent her to driving school twice the instructor told us that she was a very good drive for a teenager but I did not want to force my kid to do something that she thought she was ready for so I contained to be her taxi cab until she came to us and told us she was getting married in 6 mos I lost it I asked her how she could stand there and tell me that her and her husband gave marriage the thought that it required when you have not take the first step into adulthood by learning to drive so then I told that young man that he had month to teach her to drive because moms taxi was over she was in her first year of collage when this all happen she did learn to drive and yeas she got married that summer I know this real does not help you but it lets you know there are other teenagers that don't want to learn to drive I thought my was the only one because most can't wait to drive

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Tiffany - posted on 06/12/2010

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Each child is different I have 3 girls and they are all different. It's just depends on them and there is so much encouraging you can do before it hurts them. When they are ready they will let us know.

Mary - posted on 06/11/2010

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my 22yo non-driving girl just got engaged too! But that's fine with me. She has started getting up early (when there's no other traffic), and driving her Dad to work and then walking home. It's going to limit her job choices in her new town. I know she's aware of that, and it's why she's started being interested again. She'll figure it out if it's important to her.

Angela - posted on 06/10/2010

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OMG, I thought I was the only parent with a kid who refuses to drive. My son is 19 years old, took drivers lesson in 2007 and now his permit has expired. He had to take the written exam to renew the permit. We did that last weekend. We've signed him up for private lessons because he wanted them. I have tried not to pressure and push him about driving because he's told me he's afraid of driving but I'm tired of being a taxi. He's graduated from high school and I finally told him I was not driving him around anymore. While in high school he drove one mile everyday from school when his dad picked him up. That's it. Refused to do anymore driving than that. The private driiving lesson teacher says he's a good driver. I told him he was going to have to at least drive where he needed to go. I could care less if he drove anywhere else. That means to college this fall and that he must get a summer job and get there the best way he can. I finally will not push him but I'm not going to drive him around until he's 40! He just seems like he's in no hurry to do anything!

Tami - posted on 07/10/2009

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why do yu want her to lol! i know she needs too . my son dosnt care flunked drivers ec no desire right now. my 15 yr old dd has a permit cant wait to get her dl and wants to drive everywhere.



i am not gonna make son get behind the wheel of a car that could kill him or others if he dosnt want to. i know a day will come when he needs to drive.

Mary - posted on 07/09/2009

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It's pretty much all been said by the other posters, but I will add that driving my non-driver around is sometimes the only time we have to have the really good conversations with no interference!LOL (I know she'll do it when SHE's ready)

Sandy - posted on 07/06/2009

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I have an 18 year old who is the same way. She got her permit at 16 because school provides drivers education but she never got behind the wheel. Finally, when she turned 18, her permit expired so she had to renew it so that she could finally take the exam. She will take it in August. She still doesn't really like to drive BUT she is definitely tired of asking us to drive her around to her friend's houses. So just hang in there, she will come around (at least to learn how). By the way, I also have another daughter who did not think she wanted to drive, got in the car, and now loooves to drive! Good luck.

Angie - posted on 07/01/2009

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I agree with Lisa. I wouldn't force my child to drive if they didn't feel ready to.

Mary Kay - posted on 07/01/2009

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I agree with the others....when it's more painful or inconvenient not to have a driver's license, she may be willing to get it. We don't need to do for our kids what they can do for themselves.

Amber - posted on 07/01/2009

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Oh I would love to hear this one, my 16 and a half yo wont get her leaners either. I have tried bribing her, refusing to drive her place and even pleading.

Teri - posted on 06/30/2009

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I had the same issue with my son. I told him that I wasn't going to play taxi driver any longer and that he needed to learn - he was 17 at the time as well - It seemed that as soon as I walked in the door from working all day, he either wanted or needed to go someplace so my husband and I refused to do this anylonger and this was his motivation. Now we are free to go where we want to instead of where the kids want us to take them to (and pick them up)

Lori - posted on 06/30/2009

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I think it may just be a matter of them feeling ready themselves and when they feel the need for more independence. Out of 6 kids, two of the older kids were like that. My daughter, who is now 20 did not drive until she was twenty. My 17 yr old son wants to drive, but not enough to take the learners permit test, which most kids here do when they are 15. I assume he will tell me when he is ready. In some ways I am glad he doesn't drive! Just be patient, your daughter will eventually want the independence that driving herself brings!

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