Teaching your teen to drive can be a very emotional experience. You will be filled with anxiety, nervousness, pride, fear, and many other emotions. Parents all experience this, and have since automobiles first entered the market.
This is a very important step in any young adult’s life, however, so parents need to use a few tricks to survive this new experience.
1. Remember They Are Just As Nervous.
Your child has been anticipating this moment for months now, and they want everything to go right. Learning to drive is their first large step into adulthood, and each one will want it to go flawlessly. Additionally, they are still your children, and they will want to impress you with their skill and knowledge. Keep in mind that they are scared and nervous, and it will help you remain calm and steady.
2. Before You Begin – Talk About Car Safety.
Before you even begin your lessons, make sure that you have a calm talk about safety. Talk about car accidents and what they should do to prevent one and what they should do if they are in one. Accidents involving teens are especially tragic and often make front page news, like one that was recently blogged on www.dallascaraccidentlawyers.net. Talk about DUI and how this is unacceptable. Teach them about the car, the tires, the breaks, and the warning lights on the dashboard. Give them the knowledge they need to succeed.
3. Remain Calm.
Do you remember your mother telling you when your baby would not stop crying to calm down because the baby can “sense” that you are upset and are reacting accordingly. You know your mother was right, and this same method of thinking applies in this situation. If you remain calm while you are teaching them, they in turn will remain calm when they are learning.
4. Be Positive.
If you approach this situation in a positive manner, you will have a positive outcome. Negative reinforcement on what your teen is doing behind the wheel is not going to work at all. They will become panicked and resentful. They are not going to respond if you are yelling, crying, or criticizing.
5. Down Time.
Once the lesson is over for the day, go home and have some down time. Soak in the tub, read a book, sit and enjoy a movie. Just relax. By treating yourself to this type of indulgence, you will be able to reflect upon the first lesson and how to plan the next. You can remain calm and collected. Encourage your teen to do the same thing. Tell them to take some down time and think about everything that the two of you talked about. Ask them to reflect on what they learned. And encourage them to write down any questions for the next lesson.
Teaching a teen to drive is a little harder than teaching them to ride their first bike. However, it is not impossible. Parents of every generation feel the same way. All you need to do to survive this transition in your life is to approach it cool, calm, and collected.
While Melanie Fleury does not yet have a child that is of driving age, her biggest concern regarding teen drivers is how distracted they can become with music, texting and phone calls. All it takes is reading through the blog at to see how many accidents are a result of this type of distraction.
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