There are fewer more pleasurable rites of passage than getting the keys to your first car and learning to drive. The freedom that comes with taking control of a vehicle and heading out onto the open road is immense and something that every teenager craves when they finally get behind the wheel for the first time. It’s your job as a responsible parent to guide them through the process of learning to drive. They may have a professional driving instructor that takes them out once a week, but it is you that builds up their confidence little by little every day as you take them out onto the road in your family car. So, how can you ensure that your son or daughter get the best possible experience and stays safe when learning to drive?
The first time you allow your child to sit in the driving seat will probably be more nerve wracking for you than it is for them. Make sure that you don’t pass this nervous energy onto them by squealing at every bunny hop and jumping at every stall. Try and think back to when you were learning to drive and think about what worked for you. There would be nothing worse than offering to take your child out for a second informal lesson only for them to refuse because you made them feel so uncomfortable for the initial experience.
Get Into The Swing Of Things
After you’ve had a couple of drives out with your teenager, you will both slip into a routine that sees you as the teacher and your child as the student. Make sure that you praise confident driving and astute maneuvers while, at the same time, correcting mistakes in a patient manner. You don’t want to allow poor habits to creep into your child’s driving at this early stage. There would be nothing worse than a bad habit that you let slide to be the cause of your child having got hurt in a car wreck. Lack of concentration accounts for between 25% and 50% of all car accidents in the U.S. It’s up to you to ensure that your child doesn’t become a statistic.
Be A Model Driver
If you are taking the reigns as teacher, coach, dad and taxi service, you need to ensure that you are driving perfection personified while your child is learning to master a vehicle. By setting a good example, you are showing your son or daughter how to drive without breaking the speed limit, overtaking only when it is safe and driving with due care and attention. Your teenager looks up to you as their guide and will follow the example that you set, good or bad.
You Need Eyes In The Back Of Your Head
As a parent driving instructor, you need to be aware of everything else on the road and the sidewalk at all times. Your child will be concentrating on the road, their gears, the brakes and all manner of new vehicle functions that they have never encountered before. It’s your job to be their guide in the early stages of learning. If you notice a pedestrian further ahead, call it out to help your child decide how to react. Give them plenty of time so they don’t become stressed and have their driving experience become an unpleasurable one.
By remaining relaxed, alert and patient, you can be the ideal driving instructor for your child. Ensure that you set a good driving example, and you will have another confident driver in the family in no time.