If you’re the parent of a teenager, then teaching him or her the value of responsibility should be one of your biggest objectives.

If your teen has just got his driver licence and is going out to buy his first car, for example, it’s very important to make sure that he understands the duties that are now being placed on his shoulders.

Fortunately for you, these helpful tips can make teaching him responsibility a much easier and more realistic process.

1) Set a good example

If you want your child to be responsible, then you have to be responsible yourself. Be a good role model for your teen. Show him what it means to be a safe driver and to take proper care of your vehicle. Keep a maintenance checklist for your car. Teach him about basic auto maintenance and be sure he sees you following your own advice all of the time. When you take him for a drive in your car, never participate in distracted driving. Never go beyond the speed limit. If he sees you being responsible and careful in your day-to-day life, it may encourage him to do the same.

2) Enable him to make choices

Choices are a significant aspect of life for everyone. If you want your teen to be a responsible adult who is always accountable for his own actions, teach him that good choices are the foundation of success. If you want him to learn responsibility, ask him to participate in big choices that affect the entire household. If you need to purchase a new refrigerator, for example, ask your teen to accompany you to the store. If he participates in the important decision-making process with you, he’ll learn about responsibility and about how his choices can have lasting effects.

3) Give him consequences

If you want your child to be a responsible individual, make sure he understands that there are negative consequences in life. If your teen doesn’t listen to you when you tell him to drive safely on the road, show him consequences by refraining from giving him spending money for an upcoming night out at the movies with his friends, for example. If you do this, your teen will quickly learn that he needs to be accountable and that life isn’t about just doing anything he wants all of the time.

4) Talk to him about establishing goals

Encourage responsibility in your teen by discussing life objectives and aspirations with him. If he admits to you that he wants to take on a certain vocation, assist him by writing out what he needs to do to attain that specific career. Write out what educational path he may need to pursue, for example. Write out what other forms of training may be necessary for him. Just make sure he understands fully, however, that no one else can ensure his future successes better than he can. Success in life is all about understanding the importance of responsibility. If your child learns responsibility, then he’ll indeed be able to use a car on his own.

Do you have any other tips to add to this list to help teenagers to be responsible drivers? Please share in the comments below.

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  • I always told my kids that they had to remember that when they are behind the wheel they are in control of a piece of machinery that can kill people. They must take it seriously.


  • Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, sometimes teens think they know better or it won’t happen to them, and it all goes wrong


  • Yes, very important to be a good role model and set a good example.


  • You would be surprised how much young children who are interested in cars learn by just observing what you do. We were surprised how much a young lad learnt from observation when his parents were driving. e.g. in a manual car, how and when to change gear, the sound of the motor when you needed to do it. He drove a car in a paddock at the age of 12 when holidaying on a farm, much to his parents’ horror. When asked how he knew how to drive a car, he informed then he had been watching and learning without them realising. He just put it into practise instead of theory.


  • Some sound advice here, thanks. If you can find a locally run defensive driving course, it is well worth the effort too. It helps reinforce that you need to drive not only for yourself but for other unexpected hazards and unaware drivers on the road also.


  • Great tips. My son is 14 and has just had a lesson at school on driving skills. I love that this is something that was part of his curriculum. We also use many teaching moments – examples of his older cousins who are driving and/or preparing to drive — what to do and not to do when driving.


  • I like your second point getting them to help make the decision on big house hold items.


  • Good tips :)


  • I would add – Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.


  • Thank you for all of comments. :)


  • Don’t give in to peer pressure!! AND just because someone else does it, doesn’t mean you should too!!


  • Starr early – no good modelling road rage for 16 years and then expect them to listen when they are learning to drive.


  • Excellent tips as I believe that all children should be taught about the consequences to their actions.


  • Thank goodness I still have min 12 years before my four will be behind the wheel. I’m already loosing sleep and these tips are so important because driving and young people can have very serious consequences.


  • Teaching responsibility is important so that young adults will have respect for themselves and others. It is equally important to teach teenagers that not everyone is responsible and to be prepared for anything, especially when driving.

    • Being prepared for anything is definitely important – it can be quite dangerous on the road.


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