Parents are their children’s first teachers. From helping them mumble their first words to the moment they begin exploring life on their own, parents play a crucial part in cultivating, guiding, and supporting their youngsters to whatever path they decide to take. Each stage requires patience, skill, understanding, consideration, and vast knowledge to prepare the young ones to be the best at what they want to pursue.
So You’re Teaching Your Teen to Drive
Taking driving lessons is no different. And while formal training is crucial, children learning from their parents is a powerful way to bridge any relationship and communication gap they might have due to puberty. Furthermore, studies show that making a concerted effort to carve out quality time together doing activities you both enjoy can help improve the child’s social skills, self-esteem and strengthen familial bonds.
It also encourages good thoughts and behaviors that result in better communication and academic performance. However, taking up the responsibility to teach your adolescent the fundamentals of driving can be scary. So knowing what to expect when embarking on this journey is just as vital. This article will go through what you need to know during this stage of your teen’s life.
The initial step to teaching your child the dos and don’ts of the road is to be a good role model. You need to make sure you put your words into action and abide by the rules and regulations. For one, it’s best to check your state for its existing driver licensing laws and restrictions to know if your teen is already allowed to start taking driving lessons with you.
Note that every state is different so, familiarize yourself in advance to avoid encountering problems later on. Additionally, list down crucial driving safety reminders to prevent them from getting into accidents, expensive lawsuits, and other consequences that can put their lives in danger. This can range from drunk driving, DUI, speeding, checking their phone, and other activities that result in fatal road accidents.
Furthermore, take necessary actions to help prepare your car before teaching them how to maneuver the vehicle. Consider inspecting the vehicle for possible wear and tear and taking up maintenance or upgrades to ensure your safety. This includes installing better tires, upgrading the brakes, and installing car audio parts for better sound and fine-tuning.
Consequently, you might also use this as a teaching moment for your teen in taking care of their car. Additionally, remember to take things slow and approach each point with caution and patience. After all, this is their first time, so be more understanding and avoid raising your voice when they commit mistakes, as this will only create more friction.
Know Your Route
Driving lessons aren’t a walk in the park. Thus, while mastering the skills of driving through unpredictable weather conditions and situations is crucial, practicing should always start in safe places. Therefore, choose the ideal location, weather, and day to start your lessons.
For example, wide-open spaces such as fields or empty parking areas can help them practice the basics, including various techniques to park and familiarizing themselves with the road signs and car signals. Additionally, practicing in a less crowded space will help reduce anxiety and nervousness, creating a structure to recognize and remember the learning points quickly. From there, you can gradually escalate your training by introducing them to more complex car skills that they can use later on.
According to reports, the average screen time for teenagers has doubled since the onset of the pandemic. Thus, you might find your child easily distracted or constantly glued on their gadgets all day. If you think this might get in the way of your driving lessons, it’s best to set ground rules in advance for everyone, including yourself, to avoid any mishaps later.
Eliminate unnecessary distractions, including gadgets, games, and podcasts to help you stay focused on the road. As their driving mentor, you need to concentrate on instructing them what to do and pointing out any mistakes. So, take time to set the mood for learning and remove anything that will hinder that.
Learning how to drive is a massive step for anyone, especially those transitioning from childhood to adolescence. It requires guidance and proper supervision from both parents and experts. Thus, parents must teach its importance as early as necessary.
Additionally, having a driver’s license neither makes anyone invincible nor gives them the right to do whatever they want on the road. Remember that you are responsible for your safety and others. Do not take it lightly, and always practice safe driving.