As a parent, your job is to make sure that you send happy, safe, secure teenagers into the world who are mature and responsible. A part of that responsibility is going to be in teaching your teenagers how to be safe on the road where possible. You have to do this patiently, gently and without blowing a gasket (yours, not the car). There’s a reason that people get nervous with teenagers on the road, but if you can make sure that your teenager is a safe driver, no one has to fret about yours.
There are initiatives like Vision Zero out there that are designed for road safety, but as a parent you need to do your part. If you can ensure that your teenager is a safe driver, you can guarantee that you’re going to be proud that your kids are thinking of others while they drive. Teaching your teenager to drive isn’t always easy, as you can bet that it’s going to be stressful for you sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. So, how can you teach your teenager without losing your mind?
- Start in an empty place. Head to a parking lot or a huge abandoned area and let them practice the basic stop and go of driving where they can’t hit any walls. Teaching a teenager to drive requires safe areas for movement and that means heading to the wide open spaces where driving is beneficial.
- Go out as much as you can. Practice makes perfect and you want to get your teenager on the road and a mature driver, you need to let them practice. After they get their learner’s permit, take them out two to three times a week and let them get accustomed to it. Much of driving is muscle memory, and when you take them out often, they’ll get used to it really quickly.
- Integrate the professionals. You can teach your teenager on your own time, but it’s also a good idea to book some professional driving lessons so that they can get some advice and experience from someone whose job it is to teach. This will help them to get an idea of what’s needed to pass their test.
- Don’t yell. You are handling a stressful teenager in a car, which means that you – where possible – have to keep your emotions in check. If there is yelling or swearing, you’re going to panic with your already nervous teenage driver. You have to be the adult here and that means that you have to be steady as a passenger while they’re driving.
- Expect things to go wrong. You might not have dual control in the car, but you should think about the fact that things will go wrong from time to time and you should be ready for them. Don’t berate or tell off your teenager – they are learning and mistakes are a good way to learn.
Teenagers need to be safe drivers and you’re able to be that person to make sure of it! With the advancement of technology, driving apps have become resourceful in monitoring your teens driving behaviors. These recommended apps will minimize the likelihood that your teen will text and drive, speed, and can help in emergency situations.