How to teach your new teenage driver?
Teaching your teenage child how to drive can be a daunting task. While it can be fun and a good bonding moment, it can also be stressful for both of you. To ensure that your kid becomes a better driver, you need to develop effective ways of teaching them. The process can be long and tiring, but you need to build the skills slowly without shouting or yelling. Here are five strategies to teach your new teenage driver.
Start in an empty parking lot and build skills gradually
If you are going to teach your teenager how to drive, you will require a lot of space. This includes both psychological and physical, especially during your first lessons. Your child may make several mistakes like confusing the gas pedal for the brake or when to start a turn. So, it is best that you practice in an area where no traffic or structures like buildings, trees, or people.
How soon you leave the empty parking lot and get on the road will depend on the teenager’s progress. This can take days or even weeks but do not rush the process. They need to feel confident and get rid of any anxiety while driving before hitting the road.
You can start with getting the teenager to feel confident behind the wheel, then racing the engine while the vehicle is still parked or braking while shifting gears so that they get used to it before actually moving. Start with the basics until the kid feels confident enough, and then build other skills as you move on.
Other basics you can teach your kid includes getting familiar with the controls on the dashboard, pedals, and mirrors. Another crucial skill is proper hand positioning which is at 9 and 3 o’clock. This position offers maximum ability to turn the wheel without the hands crisscrossing. Both hands should always be on the wheel at all times.
Practice makes perfect, and the saying is true for driving. Practice with your teenager as often as possible to ensure progress. If there is no consistency, your kid may forget all the previously made progress, and you may have to start again with the basics. More practice will help boost their confidence and comfort behind the wheel.
Have multiple teachers
Teaching your teenager how to drive can be a joint responsibility of the spouses. You can take turns teaching your teenager how to drive. This will give them variety in practice and a balance of skills. If your spouse is better at parking than you, they can teach your kid parking while you teach another skill like taking turns. You can also bring in a professional instructor once in a while or a relative to assist with the lessons.
Keep emotions in check
Avoid swearing, yelling, or whining your kids during the driving lessons. If the emotions rise and you are not getting anywhere, then it’s time to go home. If you make the kid angry or feel overwhelmed, they may not be able to focus on the road. You need to give calm and constructive feedback instead of criticizing them.
If the driving lessons always get overheated, maybe it’s time to let the other parent or take over the lessons. You can also alternate with a relative or trusted friend. Avoid talking too much or using your phone as this can cause distractions. Discuss with your teenager the importance of following the rules and the dangers of reckless driving. This should happen at home before you start your lessons.
During the lessons, you can expect your kid to make mistakes. They can bump into a curb or forget to signal. The practice sessions will not be perfect, and it’s crucial that you remain calm when they make mistakes. Keep encouraging them to become better and being comfortable with basic tasks like stopping.
If your teenager goes out on the road, there is always a slim chance that an accident could happen. It is a good idea to have a Rochester car accident lawyer to help you out when it happens.
These strategies will help you teach your teenager how to be a competent and responsible driver. Alternatively, you can enroll them in a driving school or seek a professional instructor.