Teaching your kid to drive is a hugely rewarding way to bond with them. In some situations though, it’s also a great way to tear your relationship apart! There are all kinds of factors involved in teaching a teenager to drive. The fact that they’re your child gives it an extra complicating factor. If you’re planning to take this task on, then here are some handy tips.
Image from Pixabay
First of all, bring a plan to the table. You may think that you’re so good at driving that you can wing teaching it. This is often a hugely counterintuitive mistake to make. I’ll assume that you’ve been driving for a number of years. After some time behind the wheel, everything you do becomes second nature. When you’re doing everything by feel, having to think about it and teach it to someone else can be extremely hard. You’ve got to have a solid plan in mind, and try to adopt the mind-set of someone who’s never operated a car before. Start right now by thinking about some quiet, open places where they can learn the basics. Then, look to increase the difficulty by a steady gradient.
Image from Wikimedia
My second tip is to teach your kid the most important skills before anything else. This may well be a good time to brush up on your own driving skills! Remember that the main thing driving tests focus on is safety. When you first start driving, you need to make sure your teen is recognising hazards and making sound judgements. If you’re able to instil this early on, you’ll have less to worry about as your teen starts gaining confidence. Things like making left turns onto oncoming traffic, and merging on and off highways, require care and perception. Ensure they’re checking their mirrors at every manoeuvre, and get them to point out potential hazards. Programs such as 5 Dollar Traffic School Online could be a good way for them to prepare.
Image from Pixabay
Finally, make an effort to keep the mood light. Having taught my own kid to drive, I know how scary and stressful it can be to have an inexperienced teenager driving you around. They’re going to make some pretty serious mistakes, and at times you may even want to lean over and grab the wheel. You should also remember that you’re not a qualified teacher, and your instructions may go misinterpreted here and there. Be aware of your own attitude to the lessons, as well as your kid’s. If you get the urge to shout and get angry, check yourself and try to calm down. Try to remember how nervous you were when you first operated a car. If you let the pressure boil over, it will only strain your relationship, and turn your kid off of driving with you. When you sit in that passenger seat, try to fit the instructor stereotype. Stay calm, collected, and keep reassuring them.
Image from Flickr
Remember these three tips when you take your kid out on the road. Teaching teens to drive isn’t easy, but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s worth it!