Learning to drive is an exciting but trying time in any teen’s life. They are embarking on a path that can hurt others if they are not careful. This means it is your responsibility as their guardian to do what you can to prevent this.
Before heading out onto the road, be absolutely certain your teen either has their own or is on your car insurance plan. This will ensure that should an accident happen, all parties involved will have a financial means of correcting the situation (Source: Anthony Clark Insurance Ltd.).
Your teen will no doubt be nervous. It is up to you to relax them through a sense of excitement. Teaching in a calm environment is much safer than screaming at them each step of the way.
Make sure your teen drives with you under a wide variety of environmental conditions. This will give you the ability to instruct them on the best methods should it start to rain or snow.
Each time you both head out for another lesson, travel with a discussed and understood lesson plan. When your teen first starts driving, the last thing that needs to clutter their mind is where they are headed. Talk with them in advance about what the objective is.
When your teen learns a new maneuver, provide instructions and guidance for the first two or three times it is practiced. After that, allow them to perform it on their own. While it may be a little shaky at the start, they need to do it on their own to build confidence in themselves.
Never scold your teen unless they have done something wrong on purpose. Negative reinforcement will only cause anxiety issues and make driving an incredibly stressful activity. Instead, calmly talk them through mistakes they make and always praise them when they make the right decision on their own.
Be sure to provide your student with a safe car. They need to learn how to use blinkers, headlights and windshield wipers properly. If the car lacks any of these things, they lose that much experience. If you don’t own one, plan to rent a car for a day to two.
Teaching your teen to drive doesn’t have to be stressful. Enjoy the experience as a type of bonding and teach only through positive reinforcement. So long as you both enjoy and respect the road, your teen will become the best driver they can be.