Living Columns & Blogs

Be a role model in the driver’s seat

With my youngest son 15 years old and itching to drive, I’ve been thinking about what I’d do differently from how I taught my older two sons to drive. There are some specific things I know I’ll stress more (how to change a tire, for one), but ultimately, I realize that the most influence I have on him is in how I drive right now, and in the way I’m role modeling everything about driving a vehicle, maintaining it and approaching the open road.


▪ Think about how your father drove when you were younger (mine terrified me at times). What lessons did you take away? Now try to guess how your children see you as a driver. What adjustments can you make that will position you to be a better driving role model?

▪ The most likely cause of death for teenagers in the United States is car crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With this in mind, consider creating a driving contract, with your wife, that will focus on safety guidelines. Discuss with your teen driver, and enforce the contract. You can find many good templates online.

▪ Check with your insurance company about tips for teaching your kids to drive.

▪ Teach your kids how to change a tire. Make them do it. Practice!

The local fathering effort, in cooperation with the National Center for Fathering, provides monthly Action Ideas to stimulate conversation between fathers and parents. For more information, or to join local conversations, contact David Eggebeen at, Robert Orndorff at, Mick Trombley at, Chris Dufour at, Mark Oleynik at, Doug Loviscky at or Marc McCann at