Tips for Teaching Your Teen to Drive

 There are few things as stressful for a parent as teaching your child how to drive. It’s not easy to do much of anything with a teenager, let alone something as difficult as helping them learn how to pilot a vehicle. While they’ve been riding along with you for years, it’s a whole new experience when they get behind the wheel and press down on the gas pedal. Here are a few basic tips on how to teach your teen to drive and keep you from stressing out.

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Find a Great Spot

Perhaps the most important part of this process is finding a great place to get started. As you would imagine, the right spot is going to involve open space – lots of it. As your teen gets used to the controls and learns how to manage the vehicle as it is in motion, you don’t want anything around to get in the way. 

The best candidate for this job is going to be a large, empty parking lot. Be sure it’s okay to use the lot and consider your timing to make sure cars won’t be arriving while you are trying to practice. In addition to offering an open space to gain experience, parking lots are great because they have lines that can be used to practice various maneuvers. 

Short, Consistent Sessions

It’s easy to take for granted the ability to drive a car properly since you have been doing it for years. Remember for your teen, this is a whole new world. The controls might seem complicated, and the thought of driving a large vehicle can easily be overwhelming. To get started on the right foot - try using short practice sessions that happen frequently.  Practicing for too long can lead to fatigue and your teen will probably forget much of what they learn. Breaking them up into two or three short sessions a week will make lasting progress faster.

Stay Calm and Be Understanding

Your attitude is going to go a long way toward determining how this goes. If you are impatient and get frustrated with every mistake - your child is going to get frustrated as well.  Try to think back to when you were learning and sympathize with your child’s situation. Be patient and understanding, especially as they fumble through the learning process. Do your best to frame this as a fun opportunity to do something with your child, rather than a chore to check off your list.

Start Early

One thing that can make this process more difficult is a time crunch. If you wait to get started and your child has a driving test soon, you’ll have to rush to teach the basics – and everyone will be more stressed. Start well in advance of any tests so your child can learn at a comfortable pace. 

Categories: Tips