Learning to drive is a big step in life. Getting behind the wheel gives you new freedoms to get to places as well as the trust and independence all teenagers crave from their parents. But for most teens, driving lessons are a very expensive choice so topping up with a few guided sessions from mum and dad is a good option.
You might be a brilliant driver with knowledge ranging from car selling trends to which backstreets to take to avoid the long red light at the end of the road but teaching a teen to drive will be a brand new challenge. Here are a few tips to help you out!
Focus on the End Goal
The main goal of driving lessons is to learn how to drive safely. The best drivers are those who behave in a tolerant manner towards others on the road. This is not something you will learn with a stressed parent shouting from the passenger seat!
You don’t have the dual controls that a driving instructor has but you can get a suction mirror so that you can see what they can see and check blind spots. The best thing you can do in these sessions is to find a quiet place and just go over what your teen has already learned with their instructor.
If you do run into a little trouble, don’t panic. Ask your teen to stop the car and take your time to work through the problem. If they are really stuck then there is nothing to stop you swapping seats, getting to a safe position and then swapping back to carry on.
It’s All About the Right Attitude
That you must stay calm cannot be (ironically) stressed enough. Most people will be a bit nervous when getting in the car with a learner for the first time but try to instil confidence in your teen rather than show you worry. A positive attitude can make a real difference.
There is nothing wrong with limiting the speed they are allowed to go at for the first session or two just until you hit your stride together. As your teen learns to drive, you are also learning to monitor a new driver so treat this as a way to bond. Just as you can advise on driving technique, they might be able to advise you on teaching technique!
Choose Your Location Wisely
The best place to practise driving slowly and doing manoeuvers is an empty car park. If your teen is brand new to driving, you should drive here and then swap seats so they can have a go. Once you have gained a little confidence, you should try driving on quiet housing estates as well as main roads.
The greater the variety of road you can find, the more experience your teen will get and the better their driving will become. This is also true of different driving conditions so as you both gain confidence try going out at different times of day and in different weather types.