Should You Allow Your Teen to Own a Motorcycle?

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    Should You Allow Your Teen to Own a Motorcycle?

    This is not an easy question to answer and a lot of parents voice their concerns on the daily level regarding this issue. But in the end, a lot of it comes down to knowing your child, their way of thinking and putting in place certain rules and restrictions in order to do your best to insure the ultimate level of safety for your kid. We will tackle some issues that come with this decision in this article, and try to provide you with the right tips to help you make the decision that is most suitable for you and your family.

    Observe your teen

    Yes of course, you do this every day, you make their meals buy, their clothes and take care of them. But this is a bit different, this means paying close attention to the way they behave, at home, at school or out and about. It is about monitoring their reactions to certain situations and certain triggers. Having a motorcycle is a big responsibility not only to yourself but to people around you. So if your child is caring, makes rational decision and is able to stay above the peer pressure up to a certain extent you can consider getting them one. Of course, you need to have a sit-down beforehand and go through the basic rules that they need to follow in order to keep the bike. And finally, stress the importance of not letting anyone else drive it, as teens tend to get excited and show off, this could lead to some serious consequences for both your child and your family.

    Get all the necessary protection

    So you have made an educated decision to get your teenager a motorcycle. Apart for having them take the driving test there are several other precautions that you should take into consideration. First of all, you need to get the right motorcycle insurance, sometimes the policy differs when a teen is a primary driver, so count that in as well. Next, get them all the necessary protective gear, and make sure you spare no expense on the helmet as it is vital in keeping them safe when riding. Finally, have a trusted mechanic come and explain the maintenance process to your teen, as they will have to take care of their new bike if they intend to keep it and have it run smoothly. And of course, remind them of annual check ups that are necessary to maintain the high safety level of the motorcycle.

    Go over some main points before letting them sit behind the wheel

    Having ‘the’ talk with your teen is never fun, but in this case it is extremely important as their lives are in question. So apart from the safety talk with included obligatory helmet and protective gear wearing, under the penalty of having the bike taken from them, there are some other points that need discussing. The first one being road safety, so driving responsibly, sticking to the prescribed speeds and avoiding driving in bad weather. Next, you need to touch on the topic of driving defensively when sharing the road with other vehicles as well as about the dangers of thrill seeking or showing off in front of friends. They are at that age when they feel invincible and think they are smarter than everyone else, so you’ll need to repeat most of these things from time to time to ensure they really heard you. Finally, discuss the possibility of them giving someone a ride, explain the responsibility that comes with it, the necessity of protective gear for both parties and the importance that the person getting a ride is aware of the risk and is not under the influence of any mind altering substances like drugs and alcohol.

    Be strict

    This is one thing that might end up saving your teen’s life. If you catch your teen disobeying any of the rules you have imposed regarding safe and mindful driving you should immediately take their riding privileges for a certain amount of time. In addition, you can also opt for refusing to pay for any damages that might be the product of reckless driving. Not providing your kid with any wiggle room when it comes to their own safety is essential for allowing them to own a motorcycle.

    Now, taking all of the above into consideration, in the end, the answer to the question proposed by the title is still up to the parents, and it depends a lot on their teen’s personality and maturness.

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    Written by Jenson Phillips

    Hi, I'm Jenson. Father of two and living with OCD, read my musings on coping with both and maybe pick up some advice for yourself.