How to Prepare Your Teen to Start Driving
Every parent cringes when they finally have to hand over the car keys to their teen. It’s a stressful time when your teenager starts to drive. As parents, we always want to keep our children safe, but there will come a point at which we have to let them go off on their own. It’s just one of those important skills that we need to teach our children in order for them to thrive as adults. In order to feel better about this situation, there are some steps that a parent can take to prepare a teen to start driving. Knowing that your child is competent and equipped will help you feel more confident in their ability.
Give Them Plenty of PracticeMake sure that your child heads out for some practice with you. You should do this as much as possible until you both feel comfortable with the situation. If your child looks as though they’re uncomfortable or nervous while driving, then it isn’t yet time to let them take their road test or drive by themselves. You can head to an empty parking lot early in the morning. This is a great way to get some practice in without having to worry about other drivers getting in the way.
Set the RulesYou should make sure that your child not only understands the rules of the road but also your expectations. There are certain risk factors that especially impact teen drivers on the road. Your basic standards will probably include things like not texting while driving, never having the music turned up too loud, and not allowing themselves to be distracted by friends in the car. This may seem as if it goes without saying, but that's not the case. Establishing clear parameters is vital.
Have Them Take a ClassIn order to best prepare your teen for driving, they should take some kind of driver’s ed class. Some school districts provide these classes as a standard part of their curriculum. Other options should be available at a reasonable price. There may even be classes through your local DMV. While you may be a very good driver, your child might learn better from someone else. Many parents end up arguing with their children when they’re teaching them to drive. It could be good for your relationship to pass this responsibility on to a professional.
Your teen driver should understand the responsibility of driving. If they can’t take the process seriously, then it’s not a good idea to let them get behind the wheel. Attitude is just as important as skill. By doing these things, your teen can be better prepared to get behind the wheel on their own someday.