Preparing For Your Teen To Begin Driving
It can be an anxious time for both you and your teen when they start driving. Here are some tips and tricks to help you as you prepare.
If you have a teen that is beginning driving soon, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed by that prospect. Here are a some tips to help relieve that stress, and to ensure that they are well-prepared to hit the road.
Understand the Privilege
Make it clear from the start that you are letting your teen drive. As long as they are under your roof, driving is a privilege and not a right. Of course, the law supports this too.
That way, you can attach certain conditions to driving. For instance, you might require that they meet a certain minimum grade point average to keep driving. Or, you might say they can only drive to and from school and work. This keeps them from getting into trouble.
The last thing you want is them thinking they can just drive off with their friends to get away from an argument with you. That might eventually lead to them rebelling and inviting certain suspicious characters into their car for partying that you don't approve of.
Help Them Get the Right Starter Car
The right car is crucial to helping your teen prepare to drive. They shouldn't have a vehicle that is too fast, too large, or too expensive for them to handle. All of these can cause major headaches down the road and slow down their progress as a driver.
Typically, an affordable car like a used Chrysler 300 or something similar is a great one to start with. Not only will it not break the bank, it also looks stylish. They will thank you rather than be mad at you for getting something like that.
Help Them Study
The driving test to get your license can be difficult if you have never taken it before. There are a lot of questions that seem like they are designed to trick drivers. You don't want your teen failing because they missed a simple question.
Consider setting aside a time each week to help them prep on the questions. You might be able to help them clear up something that seems confusing. That way they can ace the test and walk out with a big smile on their face when they have their license finally.
Practice With Low-stakes
If the first time that your teen gets to practice their driving skills is out on the road with real obstacles and drivers, it's going to be bad for everyone involved. Instead, it is better to practice when there is less pressure. One way to do this is get into an empty parking lot.
You can let them take the wheel when no one is there. That way, they can practice the basic functions like parking, accelerating, steering, braking, and using their turn signal. When they actually get out there with everything else, they will know about safe driving.
Document Their Progress
Their confidence is going to be key to driving well. If they are tense, then they won't enjoy the process and associate driving with negative things. It's best to encourage them with positivity. Show them that, while they have a lot to learn, they are making big strides.
Consider comparing a test they did originally with after they have been studying. Or even consider recording their driving so they can brag about it on social media. These are all going to help them mentally build the confidence that they are ready.
Also, be sure to be soft with the criticism. You can guide and correct them, but be patient. If you are too quick to tell them what they are doing wrong, it could freeze them up.
When it comes to helping your teen get ready to drive, there is a lot to tackle. You want your teen to be safe and have fun. While this is an exciting time, it's also important to use best practices. So make sure to prepare them in the best way possible for when they start driving. Use the tips above and you can enjoy complete peace of mind.