Teenagers are usually excited about turning 15 and finally being able to drive a car. And most parents are nervous about their baby getting behind the wheel – especially if they’re also the driving instructor!
Teaching your child to drive can be extremely challenging. These tips can help to make your driving instruction more effective and help your teen develop the skills to be a good driver:
- Be a good role model. Always fasten your seatbelt and observe traffic laws. How you drive will have an enormous influence on your child.
- Be patient. They will be anxious about learning to drive – it’s a big step. Let them initiate the driving lessons.
- Discuss the lessons first. Talk through where you will be driving and what skills you’ll be focusing on, e.g. changing lanes, hill starts, three-point turns.
- Be positive. Praise progress and avoid negative, impatient or angry comments.
- Stay focused. Keep the focus of the time on driving. Try to avoid discussing other issues (messy bedrooms, eating habits), when your child is learning to drive.
- Use commentary driving. Ask your child to talk through what they see on the road – road conditions and signs, hazards, speed limits – and how they should react to these things.
Give your driving teens clear guidelines and rules around the use of the car. It is an expensive and potentially dangerous item, and kids need to be reminded that being allowed to drive is a privilege.