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Necessary Steps When Teaching Your Teenager to Drive

Necessary Steps When Teaching Your Teenager to Drive

You may have some fond memories of learning how to drive with one of your parents, or you may recall your father or mother constantly yelling at you as you first got behind the wheel of a vehicle. No matter what the situation was like for you, you probably realize that soon enough, your teenagers will ask you to teach them how to drive.

Prepare Yourself

Pretending as though your kids are never going to want to procure their licenses might work for a while, but the reality will eventually catch up to you. They are going to ask you to take them out to drive. If you can begin to mentally prepare yourself for this request, you may be ready when the time comes. For example, you might talk with your friends who have teenage drivers so that you can obtain some tips. On the other hand, you may consult with your own parents to find out how they reacted when you first told them that you wanted to learn how to drive.

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Know Your Vehicle

Sitting in the front seat of a new car is often a bit jarring, even for the most experienced of drivers. While you may want to race out to purchase a new vehicle for your teenagers as soon as they obtain their learner’s permits, consider whether that is really the best idea. One of you should have a solid understanding of how to operate the vehicle, and if the car is brand new to you, you may lack that important information. Have your teen check the car daily. Make a brand-new car a reward, not a given.

Make Necessary Repairs

Chances are that you do not want your teenagers to get behind the wheel of a car that is broken without you, so you should not create this environment when they are with you either. Let your kids know that you are happy to take them out on the road, but that you will do so once the necessary repairs are made to the vehicle. If the issues are the result of an accident, you can also demonstrate to them how to navigate this process. Doing so can help prepare them to research elements such as car insurance quotes and accident reports when the time comes.

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Know the Rules

Imagine that you are driving with your teenagers and they ask you an important question about the rules of the road. Now, imagine that you do not know the answer to the question. You may have been driving for so long that the proper actions are second nature to you; however, that doesn’t mean that you necessarily know the reasons behind why you take these actions. Brushing up on your own knowledge can help you to act as better teachers to your children.

Stay Calm

While you do not want to allow your children to perform an action that leads to an accident, you also do not want to move or yell in a way that causes an accident in the first place. You may need to visit a recovery center after driving with your teen, but refraining from freaking out in the car will help your teen drive better. If either you or your partner are significantly calmer than the other, the calmer person should be the one who goes in the car, especially for the first few lessons. Calmly directing your children and knowing when it is truly appropriate to intervene are important.

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Enroll Them in Courses

You’ve probably seen your kids listen to other people better than they listen to you at some point in their lives. This trend may continue when they start to drive, so you should consider enrolling them in classes that teach them more of the rules and allow them to obtain even greater experience on the road. These classes are generally offered at high schools.

Your teenagers will likely eventually want to learn how to drive, and this prospect might alarm you. However, you should not avoid teaching them. When you take initiative, you can show them how to operate a vehicle in a safe and efficient manner.

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Kevin Faber

CEO Silver Summit

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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