While your teen is basking in all of the glory that comes with passing their driver’s test, on the other hand, you might be feeling a whirlwind of emotions. From becoming heartsick wondering where time flew by, to feeling a little nervous about letting them take the wheel. Use this milestone as a way to bond with your teen and make it a memorable experience for both of you.
If you don’t know where to start, here are some ideas that might be so amazing— your grandkids will be asking you to do the same for them when their day comes.
1. Take a road trip
As nerve-racking as this sounds it doesn’t need to be a lengthy trip. Pack an overnight bag and drive to the next big city in your state. Crank up some tunes and let your teen get you both there. Make sure to share as many stories and words of wisdom along the way, take as many selfies and pictures as you can, soak up the one-on-one quality time you’re spending together, and make it a fun trip you’ll both come home talking about.
2. Give them a useful gift
We all know as new drivers, teens aren’t the best at keeping an eye on car maintenance. They’re caught up on all of the excitement of getting a car, they don’t realize what it takes to keep that car running. In the era of smartphones, scrolling, and screens, give your teen a fun way to combine their screen time with monitoring their vehicle with an OBD2 monitor. Most teens have older hand-me-down cars that don’t have all of the bells and whistles that newer cars do. If this is the case, your teen will be able to diagnose their vehicle in real-time right on their phone.
3.Surprise them with a new car
If you’re planning on giving your teen a hand-me-down car, do it in a way that will still feel new to them. Don’t talk about it and keep it a secret until the day comes. Have that “old faithful” detailed both inside and out and go the extra mile by putting a big red bow on top. The car may not be new, but with a good cleaning, you might be able to come close to getting that new car smell.
4.Throw a “Driver’s License” party
What teen doesn’t love a party? Better yet, what teen doesn’t love gifts? If your teen is saving up for a car, this might be a great way to ask for donations instead of gifts to put toward their car. Of course, this doesn’t have to be a requirement for your guests to attend, it can simply be a suggestion when sending out invites. Depending on the size of your party, you might be able to pull enough for a down payment.
Make it fun by adding highway themed decors like a highway backdrop for pictures, traffic light brownies, a cake in the shape of a steering wheel, and traffic sign balloons.
5. Give your teen new responsibility
“With great power comes great responsibility.” Have them feel grown up and accomplished by asking them to help you with simple errands that they can manage like picking up the dry cleaning or picking up the gallon of milk you forgot at the store.
The more responsibilities you give them, the more they will feel you trust them. Trust is the biggest gift you can give your new driver as they grow up, they’ll look back on how much confidence their parents had in them.