Parenting 101: How You Can Best Help Your Children Learn to Drive
Your child is finally approaching that exciting age where they can begin driving. A thrilling moment in everyone’s life, learning to drive is arguably more the responsibility of the parent than anyone else. As you take the passenger seat, there are some steps you can take to help them learn to be responsible drivers.
Set a Good Example
Your kid will copy what they’ve seen you do throughout their entire lives. If you road rage, they will likely do the same. If you cut cars off without using a blinker, they will assume this is safe to do. As you begin teaching them, make absolutely sure to only exhibit you want to see in them as a driver.
Take time out of your schedule at least once per week to give them instructions. Empty parking lots and otherwise abandoned areas of town make for the best courses since there are few obstacles to worry about. Remember to also take them out during different types of weather so they can learn the feel of the car in rain, sun or snow.
Though you may be a safe and able driver, driver’s education is an essential component to any teen’s collective knowledge about rules of the road (Source: Valley Driving School). Instructors teach them the specific rules of the road they’ll need to learn in order to pass their license test in addition to introducing new perspectives on driving they can’t learn from you. It is also a great way for your child to learn to drive with someone else in the car other than their parents. Someone new will serve as a different distraction for them and may apply a different kind of pressure on them. If you child tends to make you a nervous wreck when they are driving, then putting them through driving school is a great way to take some of that pressure and anxiety off of yourself.
More important than almost anything on this list, stay calm when riding as a passenger. Your teen will make some mistakes. What parent hasn’t had to sit through jerky starts and stops as their teen learns correct pressure to apply to the gas and brakes? If something goes wrong, don’t yell at them. Use it as a lesson. If you yell at them, it can put more pressure on your child as they are driving which in turn it can make them more likely to make an even more severe and even fatal mistake.
Teach Car Care
Sadly, this aspect of driving is usually overlooked. Learning to change a flat tire, jumpstart a dead car and keep it maintained are great lessons that will serve your teen well no matter where they are. Should you be unable to get to them, you can trust that they’ll know how to properly deal with the situation.
Driving is a scary and exhilarating time for teens and parents alike. Set an example and be involved in the process. This ensures that your child receives lessons on every part that you have found to be important over the course of your driving life.
Author: Lizzie Weakley
Written on Monday, February 23, 2015 by