Teaching your teenager how to drive can be an overwhelming experience. There’s the stress of a new driver behind the wheel, the pressure to teach them everything correctly, and many more emotions involved. Create a pleasant driving experience for you and your teen by using these six tips:
Have a plan. Your child isn’t going to learn to drive in one day, so you need to have a plan to teach them. Start by looking at a list of skills that are on your state’s driving test and working though those items one by one.
Set goals and expectations together. Help your teen feel invested and valued in the process by setting goals together. The goals can be as simple as practicing parallel parking one day or learning how to back around a corner. When you and your teen are on the same page with your expectations and timeline, the entire process is smoother for everyone.
Go at the right time. Start your driving lessons at a time when you won’t be rushed and when you are both happy, not when you are hungry or tired. Your first lessons should be during the daytime, ideally during a time that isn’t rush hour.
Drive in a familiar car. Driving lessons aren’t the time to use your treasured sports car. Instead, stick to the safe family car . Practicing in a car your teen will be driving later helps them get comfortable with the machine and helps you avoid the worry of your teenager crashing your favorite car.
Set a good example. You can teach your teen driving skills during your driving lessons, but much of what they learn comes from your example. Make sure you are modeling safe driving skills and avoiding distractions. After all, it’s easier to teach things right the first time than to have to re-teach something after they see a bad example.
Be patient and positive. Teaching a teen to drive can be stressful for the parent and the child. Keep a positive attitude by praising even small successes, and try to stay positive when things take longer or don’t go as you had planned. In the long run, it will be worth the extra time to have a safe teen driver. And when the time comes to go shopping for a car for your teen, you will feel confident that he or she is well prepared.