If you thought potty training was hard, just imagine what it will be like to wait for your teenager to come home after driving away to meet their friends. Well, it doesn't have to be nerve wracking because you can prepare your child to be a responsible driver even before they takes driver's education classes.
Make an honest evaluation of how you score as a driver yourself. Do you hurry to go through a yellow light so you won't have to wait at a red one? Do you courteously allow another driver to ease their car in when they're trying to join traffic? Do you show patience by not yelling or making obscene gestures when you're irritated? And, the big question, do you text while driving? Your teenager is using you as an example.
Before your child starts to drive, help them to be aware of their surroundings. Part of what makes a new driver get frustrated is not knowing where they're supposed to be.
- Start showing your child which landmarks and street names connect to places they'll be visiting.
- Show your teen how long it takes to get from one place to another so they'll start estimating driving times.
- Point out things you do that help you to be a careful driver. For example, show your child that you use your turn signals quite a bit earlier than when you're actually going to make a turn.
- Point out that parking lots are often places where there can be fender benders, or where children can run away from their parents, dashing in front of a moving vehicle.
- Set rules ahead of time. For example, you may limit the number of people that can accompany your new driver.
Of course, you could be the one to teach your child to drive, but consider letting the experts do the job!
- A licensed instructor has the training and the experience needed to teach.
- The curriculum has been tried and tested.
- There will most likely be films that show the danger of drinking and driving or texting and driving.
- Your child will have to pass written tests in order to proceed.
- A certain number of actual driving hours will have to be logged before the actual test is taken.
- The driving instructor will help your child to know when they are ready to take the driving test.
- Your teen will have a provisional license before they get a permanent one.
Congratulations on preparing your teenager to be a responsible driver, whether at a driving school or by yourself.