Throughout their lives, children pass milestones every day as they grow and develop into responsible, independent adults. Learning to walk, losing their first tooth, and starting school are all exciting times for both the parent and child, but it’s when they head into adolescence that celebrating their milestones becomes a tricky, daunting task.
Eventually, the time will come when you find yourself in the passenger seat of your car, with your teenager at the wheel for the first time. Teaching them to drive is inevitable, so it is important to encourage them to learn the skills they need in a safe and comfortable environment. It’s a hard task that only gets better with time, so here are five things to remember when teaching your child to drive.
First and foremost, you need to be patient while teaching your child to drive. Whether it’s when you’re explaining a task to them or providing constructive commentary, you need to remember to be patient. This is especially important if your child is taking longer than you anticipated to learn a particular skill, function or movement.
2. Remember Accidents Happen
While it is easy to be hard on them, especially when your vehicle and safety is in their hands, you have to understand that accidents can happen and it is all part of the learning process. When teaching your child to drive, it is a good idea to confirm that they are covered by your insurance provider as part of your policy. It is also important to ensure your child knows that accidents can happen quickly and easily on the road, often resulting in huge financial, mental and physical consequences. Despite your best efforts, they may find themselves in a bad situation on the road, so make sure they are aware that they can contact legal professionals such as GC Traffic Lawyers to obtain advice and a work licence in suspension periods if necessary.
3. They Are Probably Stressed Too
As uncomfortable and stressed as you may seem, it is almost certain that your teenage driver will feel the same – perhaps worse. Learning to drive is a stressful experience, often prolonged by frustration on behalf of both parties. If you can make the experience as comfortable as possible, the learner driver will get more out of each lesson and will become a better driver in time.
4. Encourage Safe Driving
Whether we like it or not, our children tend to mimic our behaviour – the good, the bad, and the ugly. When teaching your child to drive, make sure you are not passing on the bad habits you have developed over time. Make sure your child not only knows the road rules before taking the wheel, but ensure they understand why they are important when operating a vehicle too. As a parent, it is often a good idea to take a refresher test of the road rules in addition to reading the drivers’ handbook with your child.
5. Take a Deep Breath
When you feel like yelling at your child or another car on the road, stop and take a deep breath and consider moving on. Remember that it is an important learning curve for everyone involved, so you’ll need to take a deep breath, relax a little, and continue with the lesson.
At the end of the day, learning to drive a car is a scary, but equally exhilarating experience for teenagers, so make the experience as educational as possible to prepare them for driving.
What are your tips on teaching children to drive?
Feel free to post them in the comments below.
This is an S2 POST.