There's no shortage of worry and concern (not to mention stress) when it comes to your teen learning to drive. That's why at I DRIVE SAFELY, graduating safe and responsible drivers is our number one priority. And since you are your teen's primary Drivers Ed teacher, here are a few tips we hope you'll use in teaching your children to drive.
Think about where you're going to practice. Empty parking lots are a great place to start and build some confidence. Then, when you and your teen are ready, move to safe, side streets with little or no traffic.
- Establish which skill(s) you will be practicing.
- Make sure you both know the route that will be driven.
- Use the passenger's side mirror as YOUR rear-view mirror.
- Take a deep breath - and say to yourself over and over again, "I will be calm. I will be patient. I will not panic. I will not raise my voice."
- Once you're on the road, make sure you give simple directions far enough in advance that your teen has time to understand your directions.
- Keep repeating your mantra.
- Talk to your teen, have them verbalize what they are experiencing, seeing, planning, etc.
- Watch for signs of stress - both yours and your teen's.
- Praise your teen A LOT!
- Don't distract your teen with a lot of talking (unless it's praise).
- If a mistake is made, calmly ask your teen to pull off the road and then discuss the error. (Everyone makes mistakes.)
- Discuss how you both did. (Let your teen give you feedback on your performance as well.)
- Give your teen the first show at pointing out the mistake he/she made.
- Again - more praise for the good things.
- Ask what can be improved (in both your performances).
- Teaching your teen to be a safe, smart, responsible driver starts before they get behind the wheel. Conversations about what it means and the skills that are needed to be a safe driver should begin long before your teen is ready to drive. And it should have the same - if not higher - level of importance as discussion about sex, drugs and alcohol do.
- Download our Parent-Teen Driving Contract and start discussing it now. Detail what YOUR expectations, rule, restrictions and consequences are and be sure EVERYONE agrees to it.
Teaching Your Teen About Safe Driving
Need some helpful hints and techniques to make the “learning-to-drive process” a whole lot easier – and peaceful?
Parent-Teen Safe Driving Contract
Get on the same page with our easy-to-edit Safe Driving Contract. Set expectations and know what both sides want and don't want starts BEFORE your teenager starts driving.
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