If you're anything like I was, you are dreading the fearful day when your child will want to begin learning how to drive.
Car crashes are tragically one of the leading causes of death of teenagers in the United States, and on top of that, the mere act of driving on public roads is a massive responsibility that can make many parents naturally feel uneasy about their children taking on.
But nonetheless, there’s absolutely no denying that driving is one of the most important life skills to have!
This is why thoroughly and proficiently teaching your teens how to drive before they go to take their test to get their license is absolutely critical and a major responsibility that every parent needs to undertake.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when teaching your teen how to drive:
Fundamentally, when you are in the car with your child teaching them how to drive you need to practice awareness, especially when you are practicing driving in a public area on a street.
While you also need to be aware of your surroundings yourself, this is also perhaps the most important lesson of all to teach your teen.
You need to watch all four sides of the car and ensure that they do as well, so that they are fully aware of other moving vehicles and pedestrians before changing lanes, backing out of a parking lot, and so on.
Teach Through Questions
One of the most effective ways to teach someone how to drive is to teach them through questions.
This means you shouldn’t say “slow down” or “speed up”, but rather you should instruct through questioning such as “should you slow down right now or speed up?”
Besides asking your teen questions about how they should be driving like in the above example, you can also ask them questions about the rules of the road as well, such as what specific signs mean, if they can turn right on a red light, when blinking is necessary, etc.
Allow Your Teen To Take The Initiative
Practice tests are the best way to learn how to drive, meaning sooner or later you’re going to have to let your teen take the initiative by putting them behind the wheel.
If your teen is very eager to drive, then this shouldn’t be too difficult. But if they are resistant to the idea of driving, then you’ll need to give them the extra push that they need.
Remember that driving is a major and critically important life skill to learn, and if your teen is being fully resistant to the idea of driving, it’s not a skill that you want to skip teaching them.
Give them time if you have to, and don’t push them too hard to create an anxious driver, but you will need to ensure that sooner or later they get behind the wheel.
Use A Variety of Different Environments
It’s typically required for a teenager to have several hours of supervised driving time with their parent or legal guardian, and you’ll want to spend those hours wisely by having your teen practice their driving skills in a wide variety of different environments.
This includes freeways, highways, parking lots, dirt roads, driveways, and any other kind of driving environment that you can think of.
Model Good Behavior
Last but not least, take note that your teen is likely to carefully observe you while you are driving, which is why you will want to model good behavior.
This means avoid touching your phone while you are driving, be observant and always be looking around, apply your turn signals before you change lanes or back out of a parking lot, and anything and everything else that you can think of that you want your children to do.
Remember that if you display risk driving behavior, then your teen is going to mimic that, but on the other hand they will also mimic you if you display safe and responsible driving behavior instead.
Teaching Your Teen How To Drive
As you go about teaching your teen how to drive, the above tips will be the most important ones for you to keep in mind.