Teenage Drivers, Back to School & A Parent/Child Contract

I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe we’re already three quarters of the way through September! It’s already the first day of Autumn and I’m doing my best to not think too far ahead because we all know that Fall leads to Winter and I simply don’t want to go there until I absolutely have to. Another reason I don’t want to think too far ahead is because Nick just started school and it’s his senior year, so I’d like this one to go by more slowly than past school years so we can enjoy the experience, especially Nick.

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Many people are surprised when they learn that Nick doesn’t have his driver’s license yet. While I’ll admit it’s definitely not typical, especially since I got my license while still in high school, I’m also a little relieved. We live less than half a mile from the high school so I often drive in the school zone or see how the teenagers drive and quite frankly it makes me nervous sometimes. I’m not saying every teenager is a bad, irresponsible driver, but many of them concern me with their speeding and often driving illegally with friends and/or texting while on the road. I’d hate to see a tragedy occur, but unfortunately I fear that’s what it would take to make some kids realize just how big of a responsibility it is to get on the road and drive what is essentially a deadly weapon. 

The good news is that families can use their smartphones, combined with a powerful network like the one U.S. Cellular provides, to help with their teenage drivers who are on the road now that the school year as begun. Even if your child is a responsible driver it is still a major milestone for them to be on the road with everyone else, so I have some advice I hope you’ll find helpful while also giving you a little peace of mind.

U.S. Cellular’s Vehicle Monitoring System is a wonderful tool that helps parents keep track of their child’s location and any unexpected mechanical problems with their car. After adding the simple-to-install device in the vehicle, parents can download and use the app on their Samsung Galaxy S6 (or any smartphone) to find a car’s location on a map as well as figure out engine codes to alert them to any mechanical problems.

If you don’t have one with your child already, now is a perfect time to sit down with them and create a Parent/Child Agreement to make sure the whole family is on the same page with expectations where driving is concerned as well as their general use of mobile devices. The best part is the contract can be personalized based the needs of your family while giving parents and teenagers something in writing that explains why young people should never use their cellphones when driving.

Do you have a teenage driver in your family? If so, have you talked about expectations and specific rules for when they are behind the wheel?

P.S. Is my kid handsome or what?


Disclosure: I’m a compensated member of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade, but thoughts are always my own.


  1. we are about 2 years off having a driver in our home. Thanks for the idea of a contract.
    maria @ closetohome recently posted..Rocky Road Clusters for National Chocolate Milk DayMy Profile

  2. My daughter has been driving for a couple of years now.. a little nerve wracking at first but she is responsible and safe. She has to pay for her own insurance and she bought her truck so she has never really driven ours.
    Heather lawrence recently posted..Easy DIY fall Burlap WreathMy Profile

  3. Robin Masshole mommy says

    My oldest is only 11, so I have five years to go until I have another driver in the house. And I hope those five years go by very slowly LOL.

  4. My oldest just turned 13 and I’m not in any hurry for him to get his license. We live super close to the school (like you) and I’m happier with him not driving! It’s a scary world out there!
    Jeannette recently posted..Weekend Traditions That Help Make Sweet MemoriesMy Profile

  5. My son is going for his driver’s license test next weekend. Although he is pretty responsible, I worry about him being behind the wheel. I am definitely going to have to look into that vehicle monitoring system.
    Jen V. recently posted..Lemon Gooey Butter Cookie RecipeMy Profile

    • Good luck to your son, Jen! What an exciting and nerve-wracking day it will probably be for both of you, but I’m sending a whole bunch of good vibes that he aces the test!

  6. I have littles still at home, but I am already worried about that phase in our life! Such a great service.
    Lindi Haws recently posted..Kids Halloween Party Ideas:: Candy Corn Party HatsMy Profile

  7. My son is almost 13 and is it crazy that I already experience anxiety over him driving? Ugh! I’m not sure if I’ll survive the teen years. I wish they weren’t even allowed to get a permit until they were 18. I will definitely be looking into the monitoring system!
    Donna recently posted..3 Reasons You Should Decorate with WickerMy Profile

    • I kind of agree about the permit age, Donna, which is why I’m not even remotely pushing Nick to take driver’s education. When he feels ready he’ll do it, but until then I’m perfectly fine being his personal driver.

  8. My son is turning 12 next month and I am keenly aware of soon he will be driving. I like the idea of the contract and an app to track would provide me a lot of relief.
    I wish you a wonderful senior year with your son – may it go slow enough for you to soak up all the memories!
    Star Traci recently posted..Friday Fragments #14My Profile

    • Thank you so much for the kind words about my son’s senior year, Traci. I want it to be amazing for him in every way and plan to do my part in making that happen. Enjoy these last few years of being your son’s “taxi” because it will probably go by way too fast!

  9. No teenagers yet! And I’ll be the biggest worrier when that day happens that they go for their drivers.
    {Erica}EverythingMomandBaby recently posted..Join BioGaia along with @WyldeonHealth & @JulieDaniluk for a free event about #BioGaiaProbioticsMy Profile

  10. I love the idea of the contract – and I am so glad I never had to cross this hurdle
    Carol Bryant recently posted..Dog Lovers Store Opens At Fidos FestivalMy Profile

    • Something in writing is so powerful, especially with teenagers! I think it’s one of the best ways to prepare them for the “real” world and potential consequences for their actions. Wait, you mean you don’t have a contract with your 4-legged kiddos? 😉

  11. My daughter and I created an agreement when she was a new driver. She lost her privileges once or twice {because I stuck to the agreement guidelines} but she finally straightened herself out.
    P.S. Yes, your kid is handsome 😉
    Kimberly Dickerson recently posted..A Daughter & Granddaughter Update + 6 Free Vintage Inspired Journal Cards {4 x 6} #scrapbookingMy Profile

    • Good for you, Kimberly! I’m so glad it made a difference and helped her realize how important it is to follow the rules, especially with driving since it’s a privilege NOT a right. Aww, thank you. I’m biased, but I do agree about his good looks.

  12. I have a nearly 12 year old. I can’t believe how close driving is. I’m so glad there are good tools available to parents and kids these days!
    Amanda recently posted..Easy, 4 Ingredient Cinnamon Roll M&M’s® CookiesMy Profile

    • I agree, Amanda, and I hope there’s even more helpful technology when your kiddo is ready to drive because keeping them safe is so very important.

  13. Hmm not a bad idea. I think this would be great to create and sign with my daughter.

  14. My son still has a few years! I must confess I am not really looking forward to it!

  15. Awww your teenager is so cute. I was getting emotional just looking at the photo thinking my my kids being teenagers (though 10 years from now). Love that companies are working to help keep our babies safe.
    Jennifer aka Baby Making Mama recently posted..Well, it Turns Out Black People CAN Get LiceMy Profile

    • Oh Jennifer, you just made my day with that comment. This boy is cute both inside and out and I’m pretty lucky to be his mom, which is why I’m definitely in no hurry for him to be on the road as a driver.

  16. My 17 year old has her permit and she’s doing great! One of the things we spoke about was not going on the highway until she has more experience.
    Joanne recently posted..Why Do Leaves Change Color?My Profile

    • That’s a huge one, Joanne! I remember how overwhelming it was to drive on the highway for the first time, let alone pass someone. Definitely not something to rush into.

  17. Great tips. Scares me to think about my child driving. Yikes.
    Censie recently posted..Totally Nutty with Emerald Breakfast on the Go Nutty BitesMy Profile

  18. U.S. Cellular’s Vehicle Monitoring System is definitely great for giving peace of mind to parents. i can only imagine how daunting it must be to not know where children are in these times. I think he will be driving in no time

  19. I believe is all about character. Some teenagers take certain situations seriously and show responsibility. With this said some teenagers can be trusted to drive.
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  20. What’s up, after reading this remarkable post i am also glad to share my know-how here with colleagues.
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