Driving is one of teenagers’ first steps towards independence, and parents want their children to succeed. Many parents have difficulty teaching their kids how to drive, leading to anger, frustration, and stress. Instead of trying to control the situation and always have your child follow your rules, try focusing on those positive behaviors you want them to adopt.
Here are some ways to coach your teen to be a better driver.
Set a Schedule and Stick to it
The key to good driving is to have a schedule. A planned program ensures that the teen has enough time to learn. You should schedule times to let them drive and stick to them. Making it a family activity is the most efficient method to accomplish this.
Let Them Practice
Your teen needs to practice driving with you in the car. But don’t just let them drive around aimlessly. They should drive to a specific location, such as the grocery store, mall, or other nearby destination, and then back home. Have them make specific stops at each stop sign and traffic light. To improve their parallel parking skills, have your kid park next to a particular object (a tree, parked car, or mailbox) every time they park.
Focus on the Positive
Refrain from lecturing them with driving directions and instructions. They will hear you but tune you out because of your overbearing tone and negative comments. Instead, focus on what they did right, encouraging them by saying positive things.
Ensure They Know the Risks of Driving
Many teenagers have a sense of invincibility about them. You can break through this by showing how much danger they put themselves in when they drive, especially at night. Make sure they know all the hazards, such as drunk driving, texting while driving, or speeding.
Set a Good Example
You may be a role model for your children or set a bad example. Either way, they will follow your lead if you are always late, driving too fast, and not paying attention to what you’re doing while driving. They need to learn that driving is a skill and an opportunity to better their lives.
Make it Fun
If you see that your teen is getting frustrated, let them go. Don’t harass your kid by telling them they need to drive when they don’t want to. Furthermore, to motivate them, offer a reward if they complete their tasks on time.
Instruct Them on how to Respond to Emergencies
Parents should coach teens to deal with driving emergencies, such as bad weather or road construction. Tell them exactly what to do and what not to do. If they get into a crash, teach them how to check themselves and their passengers. They should also know how to call 911 or their insurance company without panicking.
There is no single right way to be a parent of a teenage driver. However, with the right coaching and set of circumstances, you can transform a distracted teen into a safer driver who will go on to be a safer adult.