Should I let my 15-and-a-half-year-old drive?

My 15-1/2 DD just got her temps and we're allowing her to drive whenever the chance arises. She's a good kid with good grades & shows more responsibility than kids 3 years her senior. My friend thinks we're wrong in allowing her to drive & condemns us any chance she gets. I've been told that I'm in the wrong by allowing her to drive at all until she's 18. I don't see it that way. DD wants to get a job and needs a way to get there. I work many hours (while my friend is a SAHM) and can't always be there as a taxi.

I personally believe it will teach responsibility and independence by allowing her to drive. She will be responsible for paying her gas, repairs and insurance. Am I bad for having this view?


Asked by TeensMom07 at 11:00 AM on Jan. 18, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

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Answers (31)
  • No, I think that you are giving her reponsibilities based on her actions. I think that it is good.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:01 AM on Jan. 18, 2009

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  • Why would this qualify you as a bad mom? If you know that you are doing the right thing by teaching your child responsibility and you are seeing the signs that she truly is, then feel confident. Now, I personally feel the same as the other mom and have my last child who is 14 gearing up for his drivers as well, but I've told him that he has to show me the "signs of maturity and responsibility" before we allow him to take control over a giant machine. Its not a popular view, but it is confidently mine. But you are the parent and if you feel yours will do well, then don't feel beaten down by naysayers. :)

    Answer by lifeasinoit at 11:03 AM on Jan. 18, 2009

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  • It's your DD not hers. Do what you want. Doesn't matter what any one else thinks about it.

    Answer by louise2 at 11:05 AM on Jan. 18, 2009

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  • This woman refuses to allow her 2 kids to have any independence at all. The girl is 21, but is still fully supported and coddled by mom & dad. RIght now, the girl would not be able to wipe her butt if it were necessary b/c mommy does it all for her. I don't want to be like that. I love my DD, but I won't always be here for her and she needs to know how to take care of herself and be independent. But, I'm wrong and she's right. Go figure.

    Answer by TeensMom07 at 11:06 AM on Jan. 18, 2009

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  • First off I HATE when people post questions asking if they are a bad mom!
    Second.. that is the BEST thing you can do is let her drive any chance possible. My mom did this with me and I am a good driver now. You don't want her to be inexperienced and let her loose on the road! Thats one reasons teens get into accidents.Why would that make you a bad mom by teaching responsibility. You just have to remember no two people are going to have the same views and opinions. Next time your friend criticizes you.. remind her its your daughter and its NONE of her business.

    Answer by krazyash023 at 11:08 AM on Jan. 18, 2009

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  • As long as you are following the laws in your state I don't see a problem. My parents didn't let me drive very often and it was terrible. I hardly knew how to drive when it was time for me to get my licence. I was clueless. I did get my licence but I had no confidence when I was driving and I was always scared to drive by myself. It took me a long time to get over it.


    Answer by CarieP at 11:15 AM on Jan. 18, 2009

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  • I think you're doing the right thing. If she's responsible and mateur enough then I don't see what the problem is. I was driving at 16. My parents let me drive whenever we went anywhere. I loved it and really learned what to do and how to do it. After I got my liscense my mom let me take the car out with my friends. Nothing bad happened.

    Your friend should back off and respect your decisions.

    Answer by amethystrse at 11:19 AM on Jan. 18, 2009

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  • I think it's awesome that you're teaching her responsibility in this way, and it is how my mom taught me. I had to pay for my own insurance and half of my car payment. I was responsible for all the gas and maintenance, but my mom helped me a bit with expensive repairs that I couldn't have possibly prevented. I learned a LOT of responsibility that way, trust me. It also taught me the value of having and KEEPING a job. NO you are NOT a bad mom. She has her learner's permit, right? That's when you are supposed to teach her to drive (if you want). Ignore your friend's comments, and do what YOU want to do. Like you said, you can't be her taxi forever!

    Answer by srhmldndo at 11:20 AM on Jan. 18, 2009

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  • As long as youre abiding the laws I dont see an issue. My son gets his permit next month and we plan to let him drive when possible. Of course has to have a driver over 21 in the car with him but thats fine with us. In a year after that he has his reg license and again will follow what the law here sets out for him. Good grades, continueing in school, paying his own gas and insurance, and not having more then 1 person under 18 in the car at a time oh and being home by 10pm. I see no issue. If youre following the law then its all good thats why they get their license and permits.

    Answer by gemgem at 11:21 AM on Jan. 18, 2009

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  • We have the exact same situation. My dh and I just assumed our kids would get their licenses when they were able to. Many parents do not want their children to drive until they are 18 or even out of college. Parents know their children and need to make an individual decision but they shouldn't criticize another parent for theirs. Driving teaches responsibility and allows freedom. This IS important to buidling self reliance and esteem. It isn't as "cool" as it used to be though because so many kids aren't driving. We limit travel, times of travel and passengers. I know if my dd is in an accident, we will be blamed for giving her a premature privaledge. I pray that doesn't happen. There is always a risk that first year especially and it doesn't matter if it's now or later.

    Answer by happi-ladi at 11:37 AM on Jan. 18, 2009

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