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What If a Parent Won't Stop Texting While Driving?


What can I do if I've asked my mom to stop texting and driving and made it clear that it makes my friends and me feel uncomfortable and that I worry about her even when I'm not in the carand she insists it's no big deal and blows it off?
Giselle*

We're so sorry you're in this situation. But well done for thinking about your safety, your friends' safety — and your mom's. You're doing the right thing. Texting while driving is a big deal, no matter who does it (dads text and drive too!).

You've probably already made comments to your mom in the car about her texting (like, "C'mon, Mom, put that thing down. The light's green!"). Now it's time for a really serious, sit-down heart-to-heart. Pick a time when you know your mom isn't rushing off somewhere and will have time to talk — that way she can't wriggle out of the conversation by saying she needs to go do something!

A conversation like this isn't easy, and it will call on all your skills in being assertive and mature. You need to manage your emotions and stay calm if you want your mom to hear what you think, feel, and want.

But what if your mom doesn't hear you out or doesn't change her behavior? Try again, this time writing it in a letter. If she doesn't change her mind, ask a relative or adult friend to help you convince her. And, until she changes her habits, try to get rides with friends' parents (or other responsible drivers) whenever you can.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: July 2015


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