The very question of how to teach your child how to drive strikes fear on the hearts of many parents. Despite the daunting thought, it is necessary for you to prepare your child for this milestone. Thus, here are some necessary things you should know as your child’s driving instructor.
Before the Driving Session
Make Sure Your Child Is Ready.
Some parents get too excited about the thought of their child finally being able to reach the legal driving age. But having reached such an age is not always the best time to teach them how to drive. Your child may not be mature enough or may not want the responsibility just yet.
Remember, teens vary in their readiness for driving. Once you feel they are ready or once they express their readiness themselves, approach your child and present the idea and your willingness to assist them on the matter. If you sense a dangerous level of hesitation, don’t push the idea as this can only lead to unlikely occurrences.
Pick The Place And Plan Ahead.
Needless to say, picking the right place to practice driving is of utmost importance. This isn’t only for the safety of your child or your car but also for you and for all others around. Choose an empty space such as an empty parking lot where your child can be free from distractions.
It is also important that you have surveyed the area yourself prior to the driving tutorial. Afterward, inform your child of the driving area, how often and what time your sessions will be, and present an outline of your plan as a driving instructor.
Demonstrate Your Own Driving.
Upon going to the practice area, you should be the first to take on the wheel. While doing so, explain to your child what are you doing and why you need to do them. Whether you stop, accelerate, or turn to an intersection, explain every detail. This way, your child would have a clear idea of what he is expected to do once he becomes the driver.
Keep Your Driving Lessons Short.
As with any other lessons, short but consistent sessions help students to better grasp the essentials of each one. A twenty to thirty-minute driving lesson done on a daily basis is much better than a four-hour weekly session.
Other than retention, you should also consider keeping the sessions short to retain the equilibrium of your child’s body. While it doesn’t happen to everyone, some new drivers experience motion sickness during driving tutorials as they still don’t have complete control over the wheels. This is why it is good to bring some motion sickness pill along with you as you hold your lessons.
During Actual Driving Session
Turn The Gadgets and GPS Off.
You and your child know that using any gadget while driving is a big NO! If your child still uses his phone or any entertainment system during your practice, insist that he should turn it off. Doing so before he starts actual driving can save him from penalties and possible accidents on the road.
The GPS is also not necessary during practice. Given that it will take place in a small and empty parking lot, the system will be of no use. The radio, if you have, should be turned off as well to make sure that you can hear each other while discussing the lessons. None of the aforementioned things are vital for the training and should just be turned off.
Orient Your Child About Your Vehicle.
While reading manuals are there to help out, nothing is better than a hands-on demonstration when practicing driving. Thus, the first session should focus on a general orientation as to how your car works. Teach your child how to start and stop the engine, how to turn the headlights on and off, what the lights on the dashboard mean, how to change a flat tire, and similar lessons.
Proceed To The Basic Driving Skills.
Once your child familiarizes the functions of your car, hop on to teaching basic driving skills. The lesson basically focuses on maneuvering the car according to how the driver wants. This includes making safe turns, signalling, stopping the car smoothly, shifting gears, backing the car straight and safely, and being aware of his surroundings.
Increase Training Difficulty.
Your teenager will not drive on an empty parking space forever. He has to go out to the real road –a noisier and busier one. Let him start with residential areas with few cars before moving on to busier streets with pedestrians and traffic lights. Throughout all his first times, it is best that you are by his side to guide him. If you think he’s ready, suggest moving on to highways for the highest difficulty.
After the Driving Session
Remember, There Is A First Time For Everything.
It’s only logical to set expectations for your child regarding his driving skill. After all, your child’s training is nothing when nothing is gained from it. However, you have to keep in mind that everything is still brand new for your child. Give him time to get used to it and to have breaks whenever he needs them. Show both firmness and understanding as a parent tutor.
Teach Him Responsibility.
Now that everything has been taught and your child is well-guided in driving, it’s about time to teach him the greater responsibilities of a driver. Talk about car maintenance, passenger safety, pedestrian safety, following the laws, and financial responsibility. Include any other lesson that talks about assuming the responsibility of a well-trained and licensed driver.
The task of how to teach your child how to drive is no easy duty for any parent. You have to lead by example and guide your child in practicing sound driving. Some ethical elements such as avoiding racing are also to be considered. You can also teach your child about basic car repair DIYs like using the quickly lift floor jacks and other car repair tools. Take time to teach your child how to drive and give him enough time to prepare and build on his skills. In no time, he will become an expert driver and he will surely thank you for that.