Graduated Driver License (GDL) Parent Material

Distribute materials that promote the Graduated Driver Licensing program to parents.   

Parents: The Intervention to Save Teens’ Lives

Although GDL laws are legislated by the states, it is parents who practically implement them. Parents’ model seat belt use and can set the rules around substance use, peer passengers, and cell phone use. They are in a pivotal position to make a difference by taking deliberate steps to ensure teens gradually and systematically gain needed experience both before and after licensing. We know that being an involved parent who sets reasonable rules and provides appropriate supervision works. In fact, teens who said their parents provided them with a mix of warmth, support, and monitoring around driving—that desirable balanced (authoritative) style of parenting—were less than half as likely to be in crashes than teens whose parents were less involved. They were also far more likely to wear seat belts, not drive while intoxicated, and forego use of cell phones while driving.

A first step to prepare parents to fill their role is to guide them to be the kind of authoritative parents who can effectively monitor their children. The key here is to notice and be responsive to their teen’s increasing skill level and displays of responsibility, while setting firm rules around safety. In order for teens to adhere to parents’ monitoring and boundaries, it is critical that teens understand that the rules are in place for safety, not as a means to control them.

Author Edited by Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD, MS Ed, FAAP, FSAHM and Sara B. Kinsman, MD, PhD

Last Updated10/29/2013

Source  Reaching Teens: Strength-based Communication Strategies to Build Resilience and Support Healthy Adolescent Development (Copyright © 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics)

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

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