Sharing Your Car
By Nikki Willhite
As your children reach the age to drive, that opens up a whole
lot of new problems. Having a car is important to many teenagers. If they want
one, they will spend all their time working to pay for it. Their free time will
be limited, and they will not be able to participate in many extracurricular
activities at their schools. You will also lose a lot of their help at home.
If your children are not working, they probably won’t have much
money, and will want to borrow the car. When do you give it to them, and what
about the extra insurance premiums for them to drive it?
What if you have more than one teenager? Then you are looking at
scheduling problems. What if you only have one car, and your spouse needs it for
This is a time when you are going to have to be extremely
organized. One way to do it is to have a Family Council once a week. Everyone
sits down together, and part of the agenda is to discuss the upcoming week and
the transportation needs of your family.
Have a big calendar with you. Set your priorities, and mark your
calendar when someone will be taking the car. If dad needs the car for work ,
and someone else wants to use it, they will have to plan to take him to work and
pick him up. You may be use to doing this when you have shopping or doctor’s
Now your children will have to do the same. It's amazing how
quickly your children will get organized when they know they will not get to
their activities unless they plan ahead!
Another thing you will have to teach your children to be mindful
of it your needs. If they take away your transportation, you may feel vulnerable
in case of emergencies. Taking the car away from home should not be taken
lightly. You should know where it is, and be able to contact your children if
If you children are only using the car infrequently, but you do
want them to use it on occasion (especially if they help with chauffeuring), it
is difficult to ask them to pay anything towards car insurance. However, if they
have a paper route that you end up helping them with (as we all do), or they use
the car on a regular basis, then I think they should be held accountable for
some of the additional expenses of their driving it.
If they simply do not have the means to contribute financially,
think about having them contribute in other ways. They can wash the car, run
errands for you, drive dad to work on occasions, and do special jobs around the
house. All these things lead to family unity and develop personal