Is your child ready for a driver's permit?

Is your child ready to learn to drive? Get tips from Cynthia G. Whitham LCSW, parenting educator, who explains how parents will know when their child is ready for the big responsibility of learning to drive.
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Is your child ready for a driver's permit?

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Parents are always very worried when their child turns 15 and gets closer and closer to the possibility that they'll get a driver's permit and possibly get on the road someday. So what do we do? Well, some kids at 15, at 15 1/2, will be ready, they're organized, they're clearheaded, they're not so impulsive, they're thoughtful, they're careful. I think these kids can handle getting a permit. Others cannot. Having had one of each, raising a boy and a girl, having a son with attention deficit disorder and some visual spatial learning difficulties? In fact, he couldn't read a map. How was I going to let him get on the freeway? Well something happened and I hear this happens a lot with people in my practice. Parents will say to me "You know, my son's old enough but he hasn't started showing any interest." And then I say, "That's fine". If your child doesn't have interest in driving it may be that he suspects that he's not quite ready. Now on the other hand, you might have a child who's zipping to go ahead, but you also don't think he's ready. Well, I think what you do is say "Sure, you can get your permit", but put as much responsibility as you can on him to come up with the booklet, to do the studying, to make the appointment, to take the test. Chances are they'll flub up a lot in that process and if you're lucky you can postpone it until he's 16, 17, or like my son, didn't do it until 19.
TEEN, Responsibilities, Driving

Is your child ready to learn to drive? Get tips from Cynthia G. Whitham LCSW, parenting educator, who explains how parents will know when their child is ready for the big responsibility of learning to drive.

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Cynthia G. Whitham, LCSW

Director, UCLA Parenting & Children’s Friendship Program

Cynthia G. Whitham, LCSW, Director of the UCLA Parenting and Children’s Friendship Program, has been training parents for over 30 years. She is the author of two books, Win the Whining War & Other Skirmishes: A family peace plan, and The Answer is NO: Saying it & sticking to it, which have been translated into nine languages. In addition to her UCLA group classes, Ms. Whitham has a private practice on the east and west sides of Los Angeles. In 2000, she spent a month training clinicians at the National Institute of Mental Health of Japan. A lively speaker, Ms. Whitham does presentations and trainings for schools and organizations. Ms. Whitham raised two happy, healthy, and (relatively) well-behaved children (she thinks that may be the best credential of all). Daughter Miranda McLeod is a fiction author and is in a PhD program at Rutgers University. With sadness, Cynthia tells us that her son Kyle died in 2007, within months of graduating from San Francisco State University.

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