Learning how to drive is a pivotal moment in every kid’s life. It signals the start of young adulthood, and it’s also a way for parents to communicate that they trust their kids to have bigger responsibilities. One great way to build happy and healthy memories around driving is by taking the initiative to teach your kid yourself.
If your child is ready to drive, you can get them started with these tips and pointers.
Start them young
While kids in the United States are not allowed learner’s permits until they’re at least sixteen years old, it can’t hurt to start teaching your kids how to drive even when they’re as young as fourteen. Just make sure to choose an area where there arefewerchances for them to make a mistake and where you won’t be fined for allowing them to drive without a permit.
Teach them the ins and outs of car maintenance
If you are a grease monkey yourself, and if you love taking care of your cars and fixing them yourself, consider passing on this passion to your children. You can invite them to watch you as you fix the vehicle, and you can turn it into a teaching opportunity as well. Consider investing in quality equipment for your garage, like the tools, an auto mechanic creeper, and even a pair ofmobile column car liftstoexpand your home garage space.
Brush up on your own skills
If you must insist on teaching your kids yourself, make sure that your own driving skills are up to scratch and that you’re updated on all the new driving rules and regulations because you never know if there’s a regulation change that you have missed out on in the decades that you’ve been driving. It’s always good to stay updated before you take on the burden of teaching your kids how to drive, especially at a time like 2021 when there are morechallenges on the roadthan ever before.
Show and tell
One of the tests they will have to face when they get their driver’s license isa series of questions involving “show and tell,”where your kids will have to demonstrate if they have a thorough knowledge of basic car safety and maintenance checks. If you establish these foundations as early as now, you will help mold them into the safest type of driver-someone who makes the necessary inspections before hitting the road. It doesn’t matter where you’re going or how short the drive will be-teach your child how to check the brakes, windshield wipers, the rear-view mirror, the side mirror, and everything in the car that was designed to help keep them safe on the road.
Oneof the best ways to teach is by modeling it to them instead ofjusttelling them to do it. So even ifthey’renotdriving, show them how you make these inspections before starting the car.
Work with their instructors without micro-managing their learning
Since many states will still require student drivers to go to a driving school or undergo driver’s education, if your kid is still planning on undergoing more formal training, make sure to work with their instructor. Nobody knows your kid more than you, and you might be able to assist their instructor so that they will have a full understanding of who they’re working with.It will help the instructor gain an insight into where they need to focus all their energy and resources as they coach your kid.
Remember that teaching your child how to drive is not a competition between you and their driving instructor; it requires teamwork and collaboration, so work with them in achieving these similar goals.
Keep a positive attitude
It may be tempting to lose your cool whenever your child makes amistake, especially since one wrong move on the road can compromise their safety and that of others. But yelling at your child will only make them more jittery, and any verbal abuse they experience might cause them to have trauma while driving. Keep your cool and be kind, be encouraging and long-suffering, and don’t miss the opportunity to tell them what they’re doing right. If you must give a valid criticism, do it as kindly and lovingly as you can.
Teaching your teen how to drive can be a meaningful experience for both of you. Let your child associate driving with good things by being the best driving teacher you can be.