There are many things to consider when a new driver becomes licensed.

Dear Diana,

I’m a father of a soon-to-be 18-year-old girl. Rules always have been in place and maintained, as she has depended on us for rides. Now that she’s mobile, I’m seeking additional language to help communicate my expectations. I’m trying to establish boundaries for when she visits her boyfriend’s home. How do I talk to her about not visiting up until curfew just because she has curfew? How do I talk to her about self-respect and appearances? I’m trying to help her manage her reputation. Her curfew is 11:30 p.m. if she is out, but I think that is too late to visit a boy’s home. When he comes here, we make sure he leaves by 10 p.m. It’s an ettiquette issue for me. Help? — Caring Dad, Marietta, Ga.

Dear Caring Dad,

I commend you on updating your rules and increasing your communication as circumstances change.

There are many things to consider when a new driver becomes licensed; most importantly, you have a new, inexperienced driver who is behind a powerful machine which can end lives in a moment. That requires respect of driving as well as parental respect and house rules.

For example, cell phones should be kept in the glove box until the destination is reached, as driving while talking or texting has been equated with driving drunk.

Who is the owner of the car, who paid for it and who pays for insurance? Those who work toward a financial payment often are more responsible than those who have things given to them. When kids get a license, they tend to disappear. Even if the new driver owns the car, she should ask to go out or leave a note if nobody is home. Some form of communication is necessary, so that you have a way of contacting each other in an emergency.

When your daughter does have the privilege of driving a car to visit her boyfriend’s house, you can determine a different curfew than she would have if she were at a party or with a group of friends. You need to follow what you believe. If you believe that 11:30 is too late to be at her boyfriend’s house, then it is. Be clear that going out is a privilege; that each night’s privilege is dependent of the previous night’s responsibe behavior (making curfew).

There may be exceptions where a movie ends at 11 or 11:30, but in general you will allow her go visit his home until 10 p.m., and you are not comfortable with her staying any later than that. The next time he visits, sit them down together explaining that you care deeply about her reputation, and that you do not want her at his home past 10 p.m. Ask him if he understands and respects your decision.

You can set the standard for her appearance as well. Understand that your daughter’s role models in print and TV are provocative. However, what she sees in advertising is unacceptable for your town and for you. When she is older, on her own, she may wear what she likes. For now, she will have to cover it up, pull it down or return it. Clearly explain what she may and may not show. Set clothing boundaries by having a discussion sitting near the closet, removing clothing that you don’t approve of. Warn her that if she buys provocative things, she may have to return them, so keep the tags on! You might tell her that girls who show all are the ones who don’t have enough inside their head or their heart to win over a boy’s attention.

The bottom line is that while she lives under your roof, you have the right and the responsibility to raise her the way you feel it is appropriate. Too many parents won’t go toe to toe with their teen because they don’t want to deal with confrontation or explosive verbal exchange. You haven’t mentioned her overall temperment, so I have no idea what you’re upagainst. However, I do know that you sound like a loving dad who wants only the best for his girl.

Parents of pre-teen or young teenage girls might consider reading “Reviving Ophelia," which is a wonderful book about raising a daughter with today’s challenges.

Diana Boggia, M.Ed., is a parenting educator in Stark County, Ohio. Send your child-rearing questions to FamilyMatters@cantonrep.com or The Repository, c/o Family Matters, 500 Market Ave. S, Canton, OH 44702.