The very thought of teaching teens to drive on their own is somewhat scary for parents. They worry about the fact that they are putting their children behind the wheel of one of their prized and dangerous possessions. But, at some point, parents will have to overcome this fear and teach their teens the driving skills they need to learn so that they are better prepared to be behind the wheel. If you are currently teaching your first teen to drive a car;
Here are some tips you may want to consider for a successful experience.
1. Be a role model
Before your teens even start taking the steering wheel, you can teach them proper driving by being a good role model. They watch what you do in a vehicle, so whatever it is that you want them to learn, you need to show and execute first. For instance, you want them to practice safe driving and have their seatbelts buckled all the time. They won’t follow you if you don’t do it, become a good example. You should model the behavior you want your kids to emulate while driving to make sure they are safe and they do it right.
2. Wait for your teen to take the initiative
Driving is a skill you can’t force someone to learn if they are not ready. If your teen has expressed the desire to learn driving and they approach you, then it’s time to plan on it. If they are scared or anxious, and they think they are not ready yet, it’s okay to wait until they are ready. It is could be dangerous to teach an anxious teen how to drive.
3. Plan ahead
When you finally start teaching your teen to drive, make sure that you have a plan about where to go and what you are going to do. Set their expectations about the area which they will be working on, as well as the specific skills they are about to learn during that session. When planning, you will have to know the first skills your teen needs to practice. Start with the most basic first before teaching them the advanced.
4. Avoid getting upset
When teaching your child about driving, remember that you are there as a coach. You should introduce them to the basics of driving. If they don’t do things correctly, avoid talking down to them because they may end up getting more scared and discouraged. Avoid getting upset and remember to praise them when they are starting to show progress.
5. Allow more time for practice
The best way for your teen to master the art of driving is allowing them to practice as much as they can. You’ll need to make sure that you are always there to supervise. As soon as they get their learner’s permit, you should have them start practicing. For the first and most fundamental skills, it is best if you find an empty parking lot so that they get to have a feel for accelerating, braking and turning. Then, you can move on to roads where there’s low traffic. After that, you can have them practice somewhere else you want to go together for as long as they know the basics and their skills match the route. When you start seeing progress, you can vary the routes and have them try more complicated situations and driving conditions.
6. Give clear and specific instructions
Tensions can run high between you and your teen when you start teaching them how to drive. So, to reduce the chances of being upset or having an argument, make sure you have already planned out how you will be giving instructions so that they are specific and clear enough to be understood. Try your best not to yell or raise your voice. Be precise with your language so that they know exactly what to do.
Teaching your teen how to drive may not be easy. But it’s an essential skill they need to learn and develop to be a responsible adult. If they are able to handle a vehicle well, it will not only guarantee their safety but also the safety of those around them.