Parent Peer Pressure

Kids aren’t the only ones who get peer pressure. Parents get peer pressure too. The moment you become pregnant, the pressure is on — whether you choose natural childbirth or epidural; breastfeed or not (and how long), send your kids to pre-school or keep them home, send them to public school or home school.

I’ve talked about parents who think you’re too strict if you don’t do “sleep-overs.” In my parenting life, I have given-in to those peer pressures at times, but child number five is 16 now.
It is easier for me to say “no.”

My current task at hand is teenage related. It’s about driving. My son just turned 16. He doesn’t have his license yet. (He has to finish his driver’s ed and drive around with mom and dad.)

Many of his 16-year old friends drive. Problem is, I do not trust other kids, aged 16, newly licensed to drive. And the California law reads that these kids must wait 12 months before driving passengers under the age of 20.

Last week, my son was with friends, they ended up driving to a store, driving to a Young Men’s Activity and the driver is newly licensed. His parents let him drive other boys around, so they must not abide by the California law.
Now I have to be the odd parent out. I have to say, to my son, “you can’t drive along with your friends.” 

If the parents were thinking more like adults and less like teenagers, it would be a lot easier. I’ve had parents ask me if my 16-year old son/daughter could pick their kids up for an activity. I know, it’s easier to send them on their way, stop driving them everywhere.  But…

…we have good friends who lost their 16-year old daughter in a car accident, another 16-year old friend driving home, from a Youth Activity at church.
Statistics support the need for this law. You can’t prevent everything, but caution is warranted.

For the first 12 months you cannot:

  • Allow passengers younger than 20 to ride in the car.
  • Drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

In order to do either, the state requires you to have a licensed parent/guardian (or another licensed driver age 25 or older) or a licensed/certified driving instructor in the car with you.After 12 months have passed from the issue date on your driver’s license, the above no longer applies. If you break those rules before that period is up, you could face a fine and/or community service, not to mention a dangerous driving situation you might not be able to handle as an inexperienced driver.  (

  • This brings up memories of the past for me as well. Why is it that parents of our kids’ friends seem to cause trouble in areas that should not even be up for discussion. The law is the law, no exceptions. Is is such a slippery slope…who decides who is above the law and who isn’t? Do they want to get sued for everything they own if their kid makes an error in judgement that kills someone else’s kid? To say nothing of the emotional damage to their own child etc, etc, I just don’t get the people that willfully let their kids break a law. And if they are LDS they should know better just on general principles. Argh…this really raised some hot emotions over here. It is OK to be the odd man out in the parenting circle. Do what is right and let the consequences follow! Great post.

  • I’m glad you are willing to follow the law and stand up for what is right…even in the face of parental peer pressure! I commend you!

  • I am so glad mine are all raised now…thinking of teens wears me out! 😀

  • i totally agree with the laws. better safe than sorry. i drove pretty recklessly at 16, 17 , 18…well my last ticket was at 19. 11 years and 2 kids later i can now say i have been driving much more safely. But as a teenager you feel invincible, better to take that option away. Be the mean parent!

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