For most of us, teaching our teens how to drive can bring a mixed range of emotions, from the excitement of seeing our kids grow up to a nerve-wracking sense of concern should they cause an accident. However, we need to overcome these emotions and help them acquire this skill with both safety and responsibility. After all, driving is a privilege that shouldn’t be taken lightly, neither by us nor our teens, so we should make sure we take the time to teach them as much as we can in the best possible way. Here we have some tips to keep in mind if you are teaching your teens how to drive.
First of all, we need to remember that the very first time our teen sits behind the wheel, this should be done in a safe space, so we shouldn’t skip the good-old parking lot training sessions. This kind of spaces can help our teen feel safer and more confident when starting to get used to the car. Mistaking gas and brake pedals, turning early, and hitting curbs and trees are common errors teens might make when driving for the first time. The best way to avoid them is by practicing somewhere empty and with as little obstacles as possible.
Just as with learning any new skill, we need to make sure we give our teen as much practice as possible when they are learning how to drive. If we make time for driving lessons every once in a while, without being constant, every time will feel like the first time, especially if our kids get nervous behind the wheel. So, we should try to practice at least twice a week, so they can get used to the feeling and progress every session. Besides, even experienced drivers have areas of improvement, so we should also reinforce the idea of constant learning with our teens.
Now, a common mistake parents tend to make when teaching their teens to drive is being too emotional, getting upset because of the errors and challenges they face. However, we need to do everything we can to keep emotions in check, since we won’t be able to help our kids if we are feeling upset, and they won’t be able to learn anything if they feel tense and jumpy. Also, if we tend to get upset during the sessions, we should let our partner take over, or simply ask a friend or relative we trust to help us out. The more relaxed your teen is during their practice, the better.
Something that we should always keep in mind is that there will be “oops” moments, and we need to be prepared for that, especially during the first driving sessions. When we were learning, we were not free of mistakes, and the same will happen with your teen. They will turn on the windshield wipers instead of the turn signal, probably more than once, and we should help them out instead of yelling at them. If we see our teen is still not confident about completing basic tasks, don’t skip them and go for more complicated ones. Instead, remind them that practice makes perfect, and that they will eventually get the hold of it, just like did.