D.A. asks from Slidell, LA on November 05, 2008
my 15 year old son wants to go to the movies with 4 friends 15yr & 16 yr olds-one of the girls recently got her drivers lic.i have not meet the friends. iam not comfortable with him in a car with such young drivers.what can i do?.i suggested to my son to have they come over and hang out, so i can meet them,he says kids don't want to come to someone's house.iam so confused i don't want his peers to stop asking him to go places, however iam very concerned about letting him go with young drivers. thank you ladies for any advice
K.G. answers from Oklahoma City on November 06, 2008
Are you comfortable with him going to the movie? If so, allow him to meet his friends at the theater but you provide the transportation for him.
H.D. answers from Jackson on November 05, 2008
Growing up, I was not allowed to ride in a car with anyone before I was 16 1/2... and only with people that my mom and dad knew. You have a right to say no and insist on meeting them. If he/they refuse... then you definalty made a right decision. If they have nothing to hide, then it shouldn't be a problem with them respecting you enough to meet you.
M.O. answers from Tulsa on November 06, 2008
I have to tell you trust your gut!!!! I do think it is important for you to get to know his friends as well as meet their parents. However, meeting them has no bearing on their driving abilities. I want to tell you about my youngest sister Natalie, a good christian girl and extremely responsible!! Three weeks after she turned 17, the day before her senior year began she went and took senior pics with my other sister Crystal, they were in the same grade (not twins just less than a yr apart)and a few friends. After pics Natalie went her separate way, she stopped home to change clothes. She told my mom she was going to run over to her boyfriends to drop something off (2miles down the hwy) then meeting back up with Crystal and friends for lunch. She never made it to her boyfriends house. Somehow she lost control of her car went across the hwy into oncoming traffic where she was hit by a truck. She died on impact! The pain and void our family feels is unbearable, but i'm am soo thankful nobody else was in that car with her. I'm sorry for the sad story, I just want you to see it's just not about what kind of kids they are or where they're going. Teenagers are inexperienced drivers and accidents do happen. How many times have you nearly missed being in an accident because you acted just in time in the right manner? Add inexperience and other kids in the car and its not a good mix. Trust you gut!!! My oldest is 13 and when he comes asking the answer will most definitely be no! When my kids start driving it will be under strict guide lines, like no hwys and no friends to name a few. Good luck dealing with this issue. I'm definitely not looking forward to that fight. God bless you and your family!
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M.M. answers from Baton Rouge on November 05, 2008
Letting go is hard. Trust your gut feel about these friends and maybe you can compromise. They can drive him to the movies, you pick him up. No driving with friends after 10 or something else that empowers him and makes you feel better. If he's a good kid all around, I'd tend to give him a little rope and see how he responds. If he honors curfew, calls you when he changes location and his grades are good . . . give him a chance to continue to be a great kid with a little more freedom.
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S.W. answers from Oklahoma City on November 06, 2008
D.: First, let me say...I FEEL YOUR PAIN! I, too, have a 15-year-old son who has tons of friends, (several of which have just started driving), he's a wrestler at EMHS and very popular. The best advice I can give you is this: As much as you want to, you can't protect him from everything and you can't be with him every second of the day to make sure he is safe! HOWEVER, you can INSIST that if he wants to go somewhere with anyone, they have to come to your house first so you can meet them. Simply explain to him that you are not comfortable letting him go anywhere with people you don't know! If he is not willing to bring his friends over to meet you, then, more than likely, THERE IS A REASON! What I have found is that anyone my children do not want to bring home to meet me, it is because they are not the type of children/influential people that I would even consider letting them hang out at my house, let alone letting my child go somewhere/anywhere with them. And, my kids are smart and very aware of this little fact! The excuse that he is giving you that "kids don't want to come to someone's house"..is NOT a good one..it's just that---AN EXCUSE! I have always had a houseful of my kids' friends!
So, just draw the boundaries--if he can't bring them to meet you, then he can't go! Period! And, even, after you meet his friends, if they are not the kind of peers you want him around, then still tell him no and tell him why! This has always worked for me; and I'm on my 4th teenager! They all know, even my 23 year old that if they can't bring them home, then they don't need to be around them!
Good luck and let me know how it goes!
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K.C. answers from New Orleans on November 06, 2008
Since when do kids not want to hang out at friends houses? I can honestly say that my daughter will not get in a car with anyone until I know them. I feel you should go with your instincts on this one. Your car insurance company may have educational videos for kids his age about the danger of young drivers. It might help him understand where you're coming from, and also help him when he starts driving himself.
I have to agree that it's a red flag that he doesn't want you to meet them.
M.L. answers from Tulsa on November 06, 2008
D., I would not let my son ride with young drivers. I consider it a death sentence and in fact have been telling my two sons, age 13 and 9 that when they turn 15 or 16 they will NOT be allowed to ride with other young, inexperienced drivers. Already I am teaching them about defensive driving.
Driving is not the same as it was for me when I was a teen. Back then in the mid to late 70's, I drove all over a big city and never thought anything about it. Traffic was lighter and I was a good driver. I also didn't have friends in the car with me. The one and only time I had sort of an accident was when I had another rider and he was playing with my radio and I hit the back end of a truck that had a tailgate down. Even though I barely tapped it, I was so shook up from being careless and allowing myself to get distracted by the other rider, I never forgot it. Now kids have cell phones, and all kinds of gadgets to keep track of. Bad idea.
On the plus side, cars are much safer now. Anti-lock brakes and airbags. And if the price of gasoline stays up, there will be fewer cars on the road. (and fewer BIG cars)
I'm with you. No riding with young drivers. You can take him to the theater and pick him up. M
B.C. answers from Lafayette on November 06, 2008
Tell your son you will compromise. Take him to the movies to meet them and pick him up for a while. Then tell him before he can ride with the others they have to agree to come over and hang out at your house so that you can meet them. I have a 17 year old whom I went thru alot of this with. I have found out thru past experiences that if they don't want to cooperate there usually is a reason. Normally your ok kids will cooperate after a while. I called the parents and spoke with them, even went over and met them before allowing her to stay over. I was a very uncool parent, still am. But eventually she excepted this was the way it was. I don't regret sticking to my guns, even though it was very, very hard.
K.M. answers from Tulsa on November 06, 2008
First of all, my oldest is only eight years old so I don't have first hand experience with your situation but nearly all of my friends do have teenagers. This very problem came up in Sunday School last Sunday and the essence of the answers more "seasoned" parents came up with was...you're the parent. Set firm boundaries and stick with them, even if your kids hate you for a while. If his friends won't come to your house then in my mind that's a signal that something is not right or that they have something to hide. As for the girl that just got her liscense, she may be a good driver but in the presence of friends, she's likely to get recless. (I know how I acted when I was 16!) It's not our job as moms to be our children's friends...they need a mother instead.
Go with your gut!
N.M. answers from Texarkana on November 06, 2008
you are right stand firm most deaths of teenagers are with a CAR FULL OF THEM make them come around GET TO KNOW THEM just meeting them won't tell you how they drive if they drink or do drugs most the time if your child has an excuse for you not meeting them its because they know you won't approve of them and it sounds like this is an only child he will be upset but he can get over it think back to when you were a teenager a lot of kids are not the best for you child to run around with most parents don't have time or don't care what their teens do good luck