*Some* things are typical teen in regard to driving


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... right?
I was at the dentist yesterday and she asked how difficult child was doing with his driving.
"We took away the car," I told her, and then detailed the broken side mirror and scrape (When he said, 'I don't know how it happened,'' he pretty much sealed his fate), the speeding ticket, the bottle of tequila 1800 ... and somehow, I forgot about the smoking part! (Then again, I had to talk fast, before she filled my mouth with tools.)
She said her son, the same age, got two speeding tickets, and when she tried to tell him how dangerous it was to speed (one ticket was near her office, a notorious place for getting a ticket, aka 42 mph in a 35 zone, but the other was 20 mph over). And his response was to yell, "I KNOW!"
"No, you DON'T KNOW!" she said back.
Exactly my son's words.
The tech then had to weigh in about her nephew in a small town, who was going 100 mph and got thrown in jail for the weekend. He had a friend in the car, who was safe and no one crashed. But after jail, he lost his job. The conversation basically revolved around how this is a BIG life lesson, if he will learn it, and it's a whole lot better than crashing and killing your friend.
Misery loves company. Kind of made me feel better, being able to look at the big picture.
It's hard to see it from my perspective.


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Terry...most teens don't do that. It's not typical teen. Not one of my kids did that except Princess and she had three huge accidents, even after we took the car away. She used her "friends" cars. Even Bart never drank and drove or got a speeding ticket for going 100 mph. That can be something a teen tries one time, but you have to notice if it's a pattern. Your son hasn't had his license long and it is already causing trouble. Jumper has had her license for two years...no tickets at all and no dents, although minor dents can be normal if the adult child is remorseful.

It's our difficult honeybuns who get into driving trouble. And the worst part is, no matter how hard you try, you can not overcontrol a child over eighteen. I would never give the car to any of my kids caught with booze on them. That's a HUGE and OBVIOUS blunder that could kill him and others.

I don't know if your son still drives, but I personally don't feel he should. At least not with your permission and in your vehicle. You can't stop "stupid """"Friends""""" from letting him drive their cars, but then any accidents are on his head, not yours. Big difference.

Typical teens are a b it defiant, moody, slam doors, pout sometimes and then sometimes are bright eyed and talkative, but they do their schoolwork, they graduate on time, they have future plans, they may experiment with drugs/drinking or fast driving, but do not make it a rule. They learn from their mistakes. You had a normal teen. You know ;) Difficult kids simply do not learn and do not change and we can't force it once they are of legal age unless we take things that they care about and that they are too lazy or unable to work to afford.



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Injecting some humor:

When I was a young attorney my senior partner called me in to his office. His client was a well-to-do older man (probably the age I am now) who had a teenage son who KEPT getting tickets. He wanted me to handle the latest...clocked going 105 in his brand new Dodge Stealth.

I popped out the first thing that came into my head: "I thought the Stealth is supposed to be radar proof."

The client ... and certainly my boss ... were not amused.

I still think it was darn witty. :p


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Typical teen? Well... when I was a teenager, it was "fairly" typical for teen BOYS to rack up tickets (not just speeding), and not unusual to have some vehicle damage - not necessarily accidents, but from stunting. Peer pressure. One teen boy in a car might be relatively safe... 4 or 5 of them on a Friday night (drinking or NOT)... tends to result in problems


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Staff member
Yeah this goes back to the good old frontal lobe development thing... teenagers in general lack the cognitive ability to make rational decisions at times. They just don't have that reasoning ability until they're in their early 20s. A "typical teen" will eventually learn and grow out of it, a "difficult child" won't. Not without a lot more consequences and lessons, anyway. Our difficult kids seem to take longer in general to grow up. (and of course some never do).

I did a lot of reading about this back in the day... Google "teenager" and "frontal lobe" and you'll find lots of articles.


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I have to agree that this type of behavior is not typical. I have 3 sons with driver's licenses (currently, 24, 20 and 18) and my youngest son will be 16 next week. I know dozens of teenaged boys who drive through my sons. My oldest boy has gotten a couple of tickets, for cellphone use (illegal in my state) and going through a yellow light (cameras). Difficult Child, 20, has never had a ticket and 18 got a ticket due to H, who didn't fix a broken taillight or tell anyone else about it. None of them or their friends have been in any of the type of incidents that you describe. My feeling is that if a young man or woman has ONE incident of that type, it's one too many. On the second one, they lose the right to drive my car.

If a person can't drive carefully, they shouldn't have the right to.