I wanted to share a tip on parenting. I personally really like this one!
I was recently asked a question relating to a teenager having her third car accident, and how a parent might have an influence on guiding the child to better outcomes. Here’s my response:
That’s a good question. You could force her to study safe driving techniques before allowing her to have a car again. You could scold her and take away her driving privileges altogether. You could send her to a driving school and make her pay for it. You could make her pay for any increases in insurance premiums you incur. Or, you could take her out for ice cream and show her you love her.
The biggest thing here is not that your daughter learns something, but that you have a tremendous opportunity for growth yourself. If you handle this well, you will have really lovely memories of this event.
I believe that she is well aware that she screwed up, that she needs to focus more when driving, and that there are certain costs associated with having accidents. These concepts are best discussed when she is desiring to and brings it up at a later date.
I think what she would like to know in this moment more than anything else is that you love her, you accept her, and that she can feel safe in coming to you and sharing with you what is going on in her life, regardless of the intimacy or the embarrassment of it.
You have a chance to build tremendous trust and love with your daughter in this moment, so go hug her, love her, laugh with her, and take her for ice cream!