How to Stay Positive When Teaching Your Teen to Drive

It’s often a trying time for parents; your child has their permit in hand, and they are raring to go! It can be nerve-wracking when they get behind the wheel, not to mention the increase in car insurance you know is coming! But when you shop around and find cheap auto insurance, start teaching them in an empty parking lot, and offer positive reinforcement, you’ll not only be calming them, you’ll allow yourself to gain peace of mind, too.

Start by Reviewing Your Own Skills

It’s difficult to be the teacher when you’re so far removed from the time of your own road test. It’s highly likely that you’ve forgotten a thing or two as well as formed your own bad habits. Traffic laws don’t stay the same, so it’s in your best interest as well as your child’s to brush up on your own driving skills before taking them out for a spin driving instructor QLD.

  • Enroll in a traffic safety course like defensive driving to re-familiarize yourself with the laws, processes, and nuances of driving.
  • Read through the driver’s handbook for your state.
  • Update yourself on the new traffic laws that have been put in place.

Have the Right Mindset

Ever since they were little and sitting in their car seat, your child has been absorbing your driving habits and attitudes. When you are driving and they are in the passenger seat, watch yourself for road rage, be patient, and point out mistakes that you see yourself and other drivers making. Talk about why you are proceeding the way you are (for example in a construction zone or through a school zone) and encourage them to ask you questions.

Employ a Professional

It’s always a good idea to get your new driver behind the wheel with an expert. There are some states that require driver’s education before taking their road test but even if yours doesn’t, it will enrich and empower your teen so they feel confident on the road. They will feel like they can handle dangerous and spontaneous situations in the safest way possible and they’ll learn how to do a perfect 3-point turn and parallel park with precision and ease, which are usually two of the sticky points when passing a road test.

Mentally Prepare for Each New Challenge

As a parent, it’s instinctive to want to keep your child safe. You’ve done it their entire life and it will rise to the surface as you take them out for driving lessons. Starting with them in an empty parking lot makes sense, and then moving on to quiet neighborhood streets where they can not only drive but also practice their k-turns and parallel parking is a good progression. Finally, working up to busy streets and highway driving is the last phase, but it also can be the most nerve-wracking for you, the parent. Prepare yourself for each phase, and be active in safety protocols by checking mirrors and watching traffic nearby and further down the road. Think about what you would say and do to help your teen when and if they encounter certain dangerous situations.

Stay Calm

While it’s relatively easy to stay calm when traffic is light and your young driver isn’t faced with a challenge it can be difficult to maintain composure when something goes wrong. When it does, don’t panic by yelling out or gripping the dashboard or seat. When you panic, you may send your child into their own panic, causing to them making a serious driving mistake. They may immediately swerve or slam on the brakes, which can create issues for other drivers and cause a crash.

If you start yelling at them or have a strained tone of voice, they will be paying more attention to you than they are the road, and that is the opposite of what you’re both trying to achieve. Instead of being aggressive, be assertive when you point out potential issues and let them know, firmly, about the mistakes they have made without berating them. You don’t want them to feel traumatized and therefore hesitant when it comes to them getting behind the wheel on their own.

Manage Your Loss of Control

The reason why some people prefer driving over flying is because it gives them a higher sense of control. When your son or daughter is in the driver’s seat, you are likely to feel a loss of control that can lead to you feeling nervous and anxious. Instead, take deep breaths to help manage your anxiety (preferably not in front of your child) and take inventory of the things you can control like offering assistance by pointing out road hazards, limiting distractions like turning off the radio, and taking the responsibility for vehicle maintenance. This way, your child can fully grasp what it means to truly be ‘in the driver’s seat.’

With some practice, it shouldn’t be too difficult to stay positive when teaching your child how to drive. However, if you find that you’re not up for the task and you aren’t doing them or yourself any good, ask another trusted driver to take over the job or hire a professional.