Teaching your children how to drive is stressful and slightly terrifying, BUT it is possible to Help Your Teen Learn How to Drive Without Going Crazy. However, parents play an essential role in helping their kids learn the rules of the road.
What’s more, parents can teach children what not to do, which can curb several dangerous behaviors like texting while driving.
Help Your Teen Learn How to Drive Without Going Crazy
How to Teach Your Teen How to Drive Without Stressing Out
One piece of parenting advice that never goes out of style is “be patient.” It’s normal to feel stressed out when teaching your teen to drive, but your emotions can impact your child.
Keep Your Emotions in Check
When we’re in a bad mood, it’s hard to watch our tone or see things from another perspective. No matter how scared, nervous, or angry you are, your teen is likely feeling these same emotions, but worse. They’re worried about crashing, making mistakes, or disappointing you.
How you react to your child’s driving skills will directly impact their confidence, for better or worse, often for worse. Parents often yell at their children, but you can cut your teens' crash risk in half if you strike a balance between support and control, so pay attention to what you say.
Make Sure You’re Covered
If you want to reduce your financial anxiety, add your teen driver to your insurance. Some insurers will let teens with a learner’s permit be listed on your policy at no charge until they become licensed drivers. But you shouldn’t assume. Speak to your insurer to confirm.
If your insurer doesn’t offer this option, know that there are plenty of great car insurance options for teens as well. Your teen may receive discounts on their insurance if they’re a good student. Families can bundle their home and auto policies with the same insurer for more discounts.
Prepare to Become an Instructor
Telling someone how to drive doesn’t sound too hard. After all, you’re an expert, especially if you drive every day, but it’s nearly impossible to offer instruction when you haven’t experienced the road through a learner's eyes. For this reason, you need to prepare to act like a teacher.
First, sit in the copilot seat with another driver you trust. You’ll notice that the car looks closer to the right curb, even when it isn’t. Next, act as the new driver by asking another driver to give instructions. If you feel annoyed or awkward, try to remember that when you’re with your teen.
Use a Schedule and Set Goals
At first, your teen may avoid driving practice, and it isn’t because they dislike you. Your teen doesn’t want to mess up, but the only way to tackle that fear is with a bit of pushing. Explain that drivers’ anxiety is normal and that you’re creating a schedule to help them get past it.
The first few lessons shouldn’t be longer than 15 to 20 minutes. This will slowly get your teen more confident behind the wheel. From there, set goals that let your teen know they can move up to other driving tasks, such as parallel parking, k-turns, and driving on the highway.
Start Small and Aim High
No one said your child has to start driving on busy roads. In fact, it’s better that you don’t. If you push your child to tackle tasks before they’re ready, they could do something dangerous. That isn’t meant to scare you, but you should trust your child when they say they aren’t ready.
The first thing your teen should do is drive around in a parking lot. See if your teen can drive in a straight line forward and backward, stop the vehicle slowly, and drive a short distance. Then, test their ability to turn right and left. Ask them to make a turn after coming to a complete stop.