When it’s time to teach your teen how to drive, there will be a mix of emotions. Excitement, nervous energy, and bittersweet feelings will likely occur as you navigate this learning curve with your teen. While teaching your kids how to drive is exciting, you should take it seriously since their decisions can mean life or death on the road. If you aren’t sure where to start on your journey, here are some things to keep in mind when giving your teen driving lessons.
Review the rules of the road
Make sure you’re up to date on driving laws before you start teaching your teen how to drive. If you have a driving record, review what you did wrong to avoid teaching bad habits.
Make sure your auto insurance is current
Before you take your teen on the road, it’s a good idea to make sure your car insurance is up to date. Getting car insurance will protect you and give you peace of mind in case you do end up in a car accident for any reason.
There are tons of auto insurers to choose from depending on coverage options and your zip code. On most auto insurer websites, you can get car insurance company quotes to compare rates easily. You can also compare car insurance with iSelect.
Start with the basics
Though your teen will likely be in driving school once you start taking them out to drive, you should review the basics when they first begin driving. Make sure they know to check their mirrors and adjust their seat before driving to stay safe. You should also set your passenger side mirrors so you can watch out for any hazards.
Pick your route ahead of time
Try to pick roads that make sense to take your teen practicing. If they’re not a confident driver yet, you may want to wait before instructing them to head for a highway. Picking the roads to go on in advance allows you to save time and get your teen right into practicing rather than having to think of where to go.
Plan your lessons
Planning your lessons goes hand-in-hand with picking routes in advance. To get as much out of your practice sessions as possible, try to decide what skills you want to cover each time you go out. Planning lessons also keeps you from forgetting to teach specific skills or repeating lessons.
Give clear instructions
Teaching your teen how to drive will likely be stressful for everyone involved. One way to avoid excess drama is to give clear directions. Rather than shouting vague instructions like “turn there,” try to be as specific as possible, like “take a right at the upcoming stop sign.” Giving particular instructions can also help to prevent confusing your teen and resulting in an accident.
Make sure that when your teen is practicing, that they’re doing so correctly. It doesn’t matter if you go over skills multiple times if they’re not practicing the right techniques. Consistency is critical, so try to ensure that your teenager is practicing the right way each time.
Go over laws as well as techniques
Besides teaching your kid how to drive, make sure you go over driving laws and rules. If your teen knows why they have to do certain things, it will not only ensure that they know how to be safe but will also give them additional knowledge.
Take them out in different driving conditions
If you only take your teen out driving in perfect conditions, they won’t know how to navigate when there’s bad weather or heavy traffic. When planning lessons, try to include some during non-preferable situations like rush hour or a rainstorm. Don’t do anything potentially dangerous, though.
Complete the required driving hours
An essential part of teaching your teen to drive is making sure you follow the rules set up by their driving school or your local government. Depending on the requirements, your teen will probably have to record a certain amount of driving hours before they can get their license. Don’t cheat your child: Make sure you hold them and yourself accountable by completing the required amount of driving practice.
Stay calm and positive
An essential tip for teaching your teenager how to drive is to stay calm and encouraging. Few things are more daunting to a new driver than a teacher who is stressed out, nervous, and yelling. Do your best to stay level-headed and patient.
If teaching your teen to drive gives you anxiety or exceeding levels of stress, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a therapist. There are therapy services available where you can get advice for managing stress and anxiety to increase your quality of life. Therapists trained in specialty services can make the driving process a lot easier for your whole family.