So mom and dad, you’ve blinked, and the time is here to teach your teen how to drive.
You’ve taught them how to walk, you’ve helped them learn their ABCs and how to tie their shoelaces, but this bittersweet milestone will certainly be one of the most exhilarating (for them!) and most nerve wrecking (for you!) thus far.
Maybe you’ve seen them put their video game driving skills to the test on their Xbox and walked away horrified, wondering, is this how my child is going to drive the family car?
Truth is, worries about putting your teen behind the wheel of one of the family’s most expensive and dangerous possessions are real and tangible.
They’re expecting you to teach them the difference between a three-point turn and a U-turn and looking at you to help them pass that all-important driving test. However, while this may be the most stressful thing you’ll ever do, it is an essential skill they need to develop in order to become an independent, responsible adult. Their ability to handle a vehicle not only impacts their own safety, but that of others as well. No pressure, right?
Now, keys in the ignition… hands at 9 and 3 (it’s actually safer than 10 and 2), let’s get started!
Start small… very small. Do the “cockpit drill” first. Make him/her comfortable with the vehicle and its controls. Demonstrate how to adjust the seat and the mirrors to fit your teen’s needs. Review the controls and features of the car and make sure they know how each of these work.
Make sure they get their learners permit before they start practising.
Opt for a paid lesson first. You might be very nervous and not as exited as they are. It might be a good idea for someone else to teach them the basics before you try. But, know that you’re going to have to get into the car with your teen at some point, so get ready.
Refresh your knowledge. You might think you’ve got this covered, but in order to teach someone to pass a test, you might need to brush up on the rules of the road.
Turn off the phone and put it in the glove box.
Start your actual driving lesson in an empty parking lot, then move to low-traffic areas and slowly build up to more congested roads before you hit the highway.
Keep the mood light. Focus on building skills instead of criticising their lack of skills.
Ignore small slip-ups and praise good practices. “I like how you keep checking your mirrors”. Positive reinforcements make good habits stick.
Train in different road conditions. At some point they will be driving in the dark or in the rain, make sure their first time is with you.
Lead by example. Be aware of bad driving habits and try to change them, they’re watching!
Give them plenty of opportunities to practice.
Check your insurance. Chances are that your insurance doesn’t cover drivers under the age of 25. Ask your insurance to add this to your existing account and you can rest easy knowing that you’re covered.
The year of L-plate learning is going to be a memorable one, that’s for sure!
If you can’t keep your anxiety in check and it’s turning the teaching experience into a tension filled meltdown zone, hand over the teacher’s role to another family member or a professional driving instructor who is more suited for this important task.
Source: www.familyeducation.com, www.statefarm.com, www.popularmechanics.com, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.thechaosandtheclutter.com, blog.esurance.com, www.mynrma.com.au, www.drive.com.au, middleearthnj.woodpress.com, www.cellcontrol.com, www.qbe.com.au, www.wsdrivinginstitute.com, www.aceable.com, www.verywellfamily.com, www.familycircle.com, extramile.thehartford.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.