Are you losing your sanity over the fact that you must teach your teenager how to drive a car? Don’t worry, dad! It might be a bumpy road in the beginning, but this can also be a great bonding experience between you and your child. If you’re stressed over the situation, you have come to the right place. Strap on your seatbelt and use our tips to help your teen become an excellent driver.
Don’t Hit the Road Immediately
Your teen is probably itching to get on the road, but you should avoid busy streets in the beginning. It’s always best to take them to an empty parking lot so they can feel what it’s like to be behind the wheel. Here, you can teach them the basics of driving, like using your blinker, turning, accelerating, braking, parking, and more, while keeping everyone else on the road safe for the time being.
Learn To Expect Many “Oops” Moments
Before your face turns red and steam blows out your ears, remember to be patient with your teenager. You will encounter many “oops” moments. If you were to scold your child immediately, they might not be comfortable driving, or it could make them fearful. Remain calm, explain what went wrong, and show them how to correct it. If you want your teen to show signs that they are a cautious driver, never put them in unprepared situations, and remain encouraging to help build their confidence.
Don’t Exclude Night Driving
While teaching your teenager how to drive is important in general, they are most likely getting all their practice in during daylight hours. However, drivers need to travel at night as well. Do not exclude night driving from your routine. How we drive and pay attention to the road changes drastically at night when we have less visibility. Ensure you’re practicing night driving as much as daytime driving.
Remember Constructive Criticism and Praise
You are your child’s role model during their practice driving. So, if you’re fishtailing through traffic on the highway or swearing at cars with your teen in the passenger seat, you’re showing them that this is OK. If you want your child to drive cautiously, so should you!
Additionally, when you’re criticizing their driving, make sure it’s constructive criticism and not “you did this wrong.” Show them exactly what you want them to do, and thoroughly explain how things work. Don’t forget to slip in a few praises, too, to keep their confidence and self-esteem up.
We know this is a stressful time for parents, but it doesn’t need to be! Remember to stay calm and be mindful of how you’re teaching your teen. If you’re not boosting their confidence or encouraging them, they might not get the experience or information they need to become an excellent driver. Don’t worry, dad; with our help, your teen will be the safest driver on the road!