This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Monday, April 19, 2010

What We Expect Before You Begin Driving


Knowledge and Skills


  • Demonstrate car maintenance skills

  • Demonstrate ability to take care of car, gear and equipment

  • Read, study for and pass the driver’s license tests

  • If you’re under 18, pass Driver’s Ed (and pay for at least ½)

  • Demonstrate knowledge of rules of the road

  • Ability to multi-task (need to be able to: listen to music and friends, know where you’re going, know what everyone in the cars around you are doing, aware of how the car is running, remembering the driving rules…)

  • Hand/eye coordination

  • Demonstrate map skills - Know where you are (are you near home? can you find where you’re going if you’ve been there before?)

  • Confident and comfortable with handling car

Taking Care of Business/ Responsible



  • Take care of school work and be attending school and making good grades

  • Be where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be there – not missing the bus

  • Demonstrate you are able to keep people aware of your comings and goings

  • Cars need gas – demonstrate ability to pay for it and will remember to fill the car with it

  • Follow rules and do chores without reminders

  • Trusted to be left alone - without adult supervision

  • Trusted to interact with other kids appropriately – even without supervision

  • Show responsibility with electronics (cell phone, MP3 player, computer) – taking care of your things, borrow and return things in good repair

  • Ability to save and handle money

  • Emotional Readiness

  • Able to handle stressful situations appropriately (no Road Rage!)

  • Not running away/dissociating

  • Behave appropriately with people and during activities

  • Self-reporting – being able to admit when you did something wrong and restitution

  • Ability to tell if your judgment or ability to drive is impaired (alcohol, meds, anger, stress…)

  • If judgment or ability to drive is impaired – ability to ask for help, willing to call parent.

  • Good judgment – parents should have no worries about sex, drugs and alcohol

  • Ability to share – need to share car time with others in family, when in traffic you need to take turns

  • Able to handle delayed gratification

  • Empathy – can see other’s viewpoint

  • Cause and effect – understand that if you do something you will have to deal with the consequences of your choices

  • Don’t steal or borrow without asking – can be trusted with money and other things

  • Truthful – tell the truth to others and self – even about difficult things

  • Deal well with authority figures (including parents)

3 comments:

GB's Mom said...

Some people(like my D)would never drive under these rules. I like them.

Heather said...

I just stumbled on this post, but I love the list, and I think I'll hang onto it. Our two are getting close enough to start talking about "when I'm 16," and I think this might be a way to get them focused on our expectations before they get a license. Our son this should not be a problem. Our daughter, on the other hand...

marythemom said...

Heather - I've been reading your blog for awhile now. Hope your daughter's eyebrows grow back! I think I would definitely take that as a sign she's not ready to drive. I've updated this list and will post it when Bear's skills trainer converts it to "quantifiable" (sp?) choices.

Mary