An important role that parents play in the lives of their teen aged children is to help prepare them for their future lives. The best way to accomplish this goal is to educate teens on accepting and handling responsibility. The most effective way to achieve this is
for parents to encourage their children to do well in school and participate in constructive activities as sports, and performing in community service programs. When the time comes for them to attain a driver’s license, parents should accept the responsibility
of paying for car insurance.
The burden of making car payments and insurance payments places unreasonable pressures on teens in both their academic performances and personal lives. The difficulties encountered in today’s job market has resulted in teen agers having to compete against adults for jobs that only offer pay at or near the minimum wage. Those that would be able to find jobs would have to work every night after school, plus weekends in order to keep up with their car expenses. That leaves little time for studying, or time for friends and extra-curricular school activities.
It is not that most teen agers are lazy. In fact, the majority of them are willing to work long hours so they can own their own cars; later regretting the impact their sacrifices had on their grades and social lives. Car insurance premiums for teen drivers can be considerable, depending on where they live. They can cost up to seven or eight thousand dollars a year. Adding gas and car maintenance means that the total cost of driving a car for someone under the age of twenty-one can exceed ten thousand dollars a year! This would require earning approximately twelve thousand dollars gross income per year to cover these expenses; that doesn’t even include the cost of the car, itself!
Peer pressure also adds to the importance of attaining “a nice set of wheels”. A car is a status symbol, especially to most teen agers. There was a time when a good used car could be purchased for a few hundred dollars. Today, any decent used car can easily set an individual back seven to ten thousand dollars. A teen ager’s first car needs to be safe and reliable; a high-end sound system and nice rims can wait until after they finish school and earn a proper pay check.
Parents need to relieve teens of this heavy financial burden, so their kids can still enjoy being kids, and focus on their educational and social development.