If you have a teen that’s anxious to get on the road, you’re probably feeling myriad of different emotions. You’re likely excited, for one, as this is a big moment in your life.
But chances are that, more than anything, you’re feeling worried. And that’s understandable. After all, teens are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations than older, more experienced drivers.
That’s why it’s up to you to teach your teen good driving habits.
Here are five tips for teaching teens to drive without losing your mind.
1. Start in Parking Lots
Your teen is likely pretty excited to get started. But before you let them hit the open road, it’s best to start out in a safe, empty area such as a parking lot.
Use this early practice to teach your teen the basics of vehicle maneuverability without any of the risks. Work on things like parking, acceleration, turning radius, and braking.
2. Keep a Calm, Relaxed Tone
Let’s be honest, even if your teen is a safe driver, that won’t stop you from feeling nervous. But don’t let those nerves affect your teaching. Otherwise, you’ll make your teen feel nervous which can impact their driving abilities as well as their overall confidence.
It’s best to try and keep things light. Keep a calm, conversational tone when they’re driving — even if you feel like throwing up.
Be careful to criticize. Instead, be eager to praise them for what they did right. Point out specific positives you notice.
Then, when they do make a mistake, let them self correct by asking questions like, “How do you think you handled that stop?” or “Who had the right of way back at that intersection?”
3. Think Back to Your Own Early Driving Experiences
Teaching your teenager to drive can be scary. It can feel like they’re being reckless or they’re not listening to your coaching.
But before you blow up, remember that you, too, were once their age.
Think back to how your parents taught you to drive. Chances are you can find some great ways to learn what to do (or not to do) by reflecting on your personal experience.
4. Learn About Safety Measures Together
No matter how frustrated or scared you get when your teen is behind the wheel, you love them. And at the end of the day, you just want them to be safe.
Learn about road safety together. Help them study for their learner’s permit exam or licensing test. Or research the most common sources of accidents among teens and discuss ways in which your teen can prevent them.
When it comes time to add them to your auto insurance provider, allow them to get involved in the process. Many insurers have special areas of their site dedicated to Auto Insurance for Teen Drivers, so look at these materials together.
Go one step further and teach them the basics of handling an auto accident. Of course, you hope it never happens, but it’s best to have them prepared for a worst-case scenario.
5. Be Patient
Finally, take a deep breath. Yes, it’s scary. And maybe the idea of your teen getting behind the wheel gives you a knot in your stomach.
But be patient. The best thing you can do is to take a slow, steady approach and coach them with love, kindness, and patience.
Teaching Teens to Drive Made Easy
Teaching teens to drive is something that most parents dread. While that’s understandable, using these five tips will help make your teen a safe, road ready driver.
Safe driving means focused driving, so make sure you and your teen check out these five chilling consequences associated with texting and driving.