4 Tips for Parents of Teens Learning to Drive

4 Tips for Parents of Teens Learning to Drive

Driving is not something teens learn by watching. Setting a good example with your own safe driving is helpful, but ultimately your child needs to learn while behind the wheel. The prospect of your child driving may be scary, but there are specific steps you can take to ease them into it. Here are four tips for parents of teens learning to drive.

Talk Through Things With Your Teen

First, when your child receives their permit, talk with them about what learning to drive will look like. Acknowledge that the process is stressful for them and you, but that you want it to go smoothly. If you do this, they’re more likely to trust you and your directions. Because your child doesn’t have an intuitive sense of the car and the road, they’ll need to rely on you to react on a moment’s notice. To ensure safety, communicate about when to stop, go, and turn the wheel before you step into the car. That said, don’t overwhelm them with instruction too quickly—introduce new aspects to be aware of over time.

Don’t Go Straight to the Street

A new driver’s first experiences when driving frame his or her entire learning experience. Controlling a piece of machinery that weighs several thousand pounds is intimidating, and any early wrong moves will affect a teen driver. For this reason, take your child to an empty parking lot to start learning in a safe setting without other drivers present. You’ll find you’re more patient with them because there aren’t many serious consequences to a mistake here.

Address Errors Thoughtfully

Another tip for parents of teens learning to drive is to be calm in order to preserve your relationship with them. You must maintain your role as teacher, and you’ll be their best teacher when they trust you throughout the entire process. For this reason, provide constructive criticism for larger mistakes only. For example, not stopping completely at a stop sign is a more serious offense than braking several feet too early. When you comment on their driving, do so calmly and clearly. They’re still in control of the car after they make a mistake, and they may become more erratic if your reaction to their driving is extreme. It’s important that they remain somewhat confident in their abilities as they drive and remain receptive to what you have to say the whole time.

Enroll Them in Driving School

Your teen need not learn from only you, though. Enroll them in a behind the wheel driving course taught by an experienced instructor. If you choose well, the instructor will provide tips and feedback your child wouldn’t get from you. Also, this will take some of the load off your shoulders and perhaps preserve your relationship with your child. This driving school practice also helps them prepare for their eventual licensure test.

If you’re interested in a behind the wheel driving school in AZ, contact the expert team at Driving Arizona. We’ll discuss what driving package fits your teen best and then help them be as safe as possible on the road.

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