When your son reaches the age of 15 or 16, it becomes time to teach him how to drive. But rather than just teaching him how to perform the basic functions of driving a car, you should use this is an opportunity to teach him about life.
Valuable Life Lessons to Impart
When your child becomes a teen and starts the process of learning to drive, you’ll have to go through all of the basics like shifting gears, accelerating, braking, turning, and obeying traffic laws. But this is just the beginning. Your son is growing up and you should take this chance to impart some wisdom. Here are three specific areas to address:
1. How to Perform Basic Car Maintenance
Car maintenance is important for a number of reasons. First off, properly caring for your vehicle extends its useful life and prevents serious problems from occurring as more miles are put on the car. Secondly, it can keep you safe.
As Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC explains:
Auto manufacturers and parts suppliers indirectly cause thousands of wrecks because of defective or poor product designs. Common systems that fail to devastating effect include steering and suspension; tires and brakes; and lighting.
By teaching your son how to perform basic car maintenance, he’ll (a) protect his vehicle, and (b) lessen his chances of being involved in a car accident. Here are some of the tasks worth focusing on:
- How to change engine oil (and the importance of regularly changing every 3,000 to 5,000 miles)
- How to check basic fluid levels (including engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, etc.)
- How to swap out engine air filters
- How to change headlights and brake lights
- How to jumpstart a battery (as well as how to replace a battery)
If you happen to have in-depth knowledge on cars, you may go so far as to teach your child how to change brake pads and rotors, rotate tires, swap out belts, etc. The point is that your son needs to understand the basics of taking care of his car. In addition to the aforementioned perks, it’ll show him the importance of caring for things of value in his life.
2. How to Embrace Responsibilities That Come With Freedom
“It can be easy to assume that your teen is on the path to becoming independent because he excels on the soccer field or because he gets his homework done on time. But just because your teen is doing well in some areas of his life doesn’t mean he’s ready to take on the responsibilities of the real world,” psychotherapist Amy Morin notes.
As your son begins driving, he will inevitably taste new freedoms that he’s never had the opportunity to enjoy before. It’s up to you to teach him how to embrace the responsibilities that come with freedom so that he stays safe and becomes a productive member of society.
This can be accomplished by giving out responsibilities at home (and equipping your son with the skills to handle these duties). You should also be clear about the consequences that come with not living up to responsibilities (without being overbearing). Now’s the time to begin speaking to your son in a matter of fact way. Don’t cushion him from the aftermath of mistakes he makes. He’ll learn lessons better when he experiences them firsthand.
3. How to Treat Women With Respect
We seem to live in a world where young men no longer respect young women. The proliferation of pornography and the sexualization of young girls on social media has given many teenagers the notion that women exist for their pleasure. Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth.
Whether you realize it or not, your child is watching you and will, to a degree, form his view of women based on the things you say and do. Teach your son to treat women with respect. And, perhaps more importantly, teach him to view women with respect.
Seize Opportunities for Teaching
As your son grows older, it’s tempting to become his friend. And while there are certainly elements of your relationship where you’ll share friend-like qualities, you’re ultimately his father. At this stage of life, he needs a parent more than a buddy. Use every opportunity you have to impart wisdom, teach lessons, and provide any needed correction.
When approached with the right heart, these nuggets of truth will be well-received and will pave the way for a blossoming friendship in the years to come.
This content is sponsored by Larry Alton.
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