Read and then we'll talk!
This 16 year old girl took an UBER from Long Island back to Brooklyn after a sweet sixteen party at 11:15 at night. As a parent you should never allow this. If in an emergency you can't get your teen late at night, they should NEVER be allowed to be alone in an uber. Doesn't matter whether it is a boy or a girl. They are vulnerable in different ways. I have only had lovely experiences with Lyft and Uber, but I am not a teen who is not aware of their surroundings, and with their heads down in their phone. They could be prime targets for sexual assault or theft. Or you could have a teenage girl or boy whose UBER driver is young and hot, and before you know it information is being shared and they are "best friends!" If and when they need to use an UBER/LYFT they should travel in pairs, and have you on the phone with them, so the driver is aware that you are "present."Supposedly there is an actual restriction on unaccompanied minors in an UBER/LYFT just so you don't think I am just being a nervous nelly.
DO NOT give your teen an UBER account. I know on face value it sounds like a sensible idea. How great that your teen will have a safe mode of transportation when they or their friends are otherwise compromised. YOU ARE THEIR SAFE RIDE!!!! When your teen chooses UBER over you, you have ceded complete control for their safety. They can now freely move from party to party, continuing to drink/use drugs/vape without fear of consequence. And if they are going to houses with no supervision and on to a sleep over and no responsible parent driving them, or awake when they get there, how will anyone ever know if they are close to being passed out!
A parent called me last spring about her 15 year old daughter who had been at a sleepover, a home this parent felt completely comfortable with. This mom had a sister who lived on another coast and time zone who was up early doing an instragram catch-up with her morning coffee. Low and behold she is seeing a live instagram feed of her niece at 3:00 AM in an UBER with her sleepover buddies coming back from an all-night diner run!! Sleepover parents none the wiser!!! She called her sister later in the morning and said hey, I saw Brunhilda at 3 AM in an UBER, was she on her way home from a prom or something?
No there was no prom!! Just a bunch of 15 year old girls who at 3 AM were STARVING. Having an UBER account at their disposal, why not head out for some chow!!! This is scary on so many levels. Immature kids out at 3 AM with a strange UBER driver, out at an all night diner with who knows who, and thinking the whole thing is HYSTERICAL!!! Out goes any judgement they might have had! UBER accounts are for you, and if there is a special occasion you are unable to pick your kid up, you order the UBER from your phone and make sure all is safe. THAT IS YOUR JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have heard from a number of parents that some teens have used their UBER account as a money maker. A teen will offer to use/share their UBER account for friends to go hither and yon and collect an agreed upon sum of cash for that privilege. This means the UBER account holder is walking around with a wad of cash having double dipped their parents generosity of an UBER/LYFT account . They are smart little buggers!!!
Another tactic is that one kid has an UBER account, and transports he/she and their friends everywhere. You may love this because your teen never asks you for a ride through the unbelievable generosity of another kid's parents. Oh the calls I have received from parents who have ended up with UBER sized UBER bills.
Or another parent whose daughter didn't feel like walking the mile home from school and regularly called an uber to take her home. LAZY!!!!
I get UBERS/LYFTS are wonderful new conveniences, and in a pinch they can be a a savior. But again I emphasize that checking in with you, being picked up and delivered by you, are important ways of staying in touch with your teen. Maybe they don't talk in the car most days, but there may be that one day, that bad day, when having mom or dad in the car opens them up for a good old fashion "car talk." They may be few and far between, but that is the point. You want to be available and there when they happen. Driving, car-pooling, the bain of most parents. But truly, the relationships I formed both with my daughter and her friends by being the driving mom(all now 36) was priceless. They are now among the wonderful group of women I call my friends, including my daughter!! Time with your children and their friends can never never never be replaced!!!