Teaching your teen how to drive can leave you as a parent feeling some mixed emotions. While you might be excited to have another driver in the house, you might also be nervous to have your teen behind the wheel of something more than a side-by-side UTV. But with the right preparation, you and your teen can both feel confident in their driving abilities.
To show you how to best be ready for your teen to get behind the wheel, here are three tips for teaching your teen how to drive.
Only Drive In Ideal Conditions—At First
When your teen first gets behind the wheel, it’s important that you do everything you can to build up their confidence. To help with this, Wayne Parker, a contributor to Very Well Family, recommends that you start your teen off by driving in the most ideal conditions. This means that it should be daylight and that the roads should be clear and dry.
As your teen becomes more comfortable behind the wheel, you should then have them gain some experience driving in less than ideal conditions. If they’re nervous about this, have them try driving around an empty parking lot before actually hitting the road when driving at night or during the rain or snow.
Make It Easy For Your Teen To Focus
Driving can be a very exciting but also very scary experience for your teen. Because of this, it can often be hard for your teen to focus entirely on the road when other things are going on in the car. But if your teen isn’t giving the road their full attention, they will be much more dangerous behind the wheel.
To combat this, Joe Bargmann, a contributor to Popular Mechanics, advises that you make it easy for your teen to focus by eliminating as many distractions as you can. Ideally, your teen should keep their phone out of reach and on silent until they’re done driving. Additionally, teach your teen to leave the radio and any GPS alone while they’re in motion.
Practice Giving Clear Instructions
Teaching a teen to drive can be very stressful for you as a parent. But since your teen will take their cues for how to feel about their performance from your reactions as the passenger, it’s important that you try to do your best to remain calm and give clear directions.
As part of this, HealthyChildren.org suggests that you practice how to give clear directions about driving. Keep your directions simple and do your best not to raise your voice. And if you need to answer a question in the affirmative, avoid saying, “Right,” as this could confuse your teen into turning when they shouldn’t.
If you’ll soon be teaching your teen how to drive, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you do so successfully.