If you’re a parent to a teenager, you’re probably longing for them to develop more independence and self-sufficiency to keep up with their busy schedule. Learning to drive is both a simple solution and a rite of passage. However, it’s also a big responsibility that requires the proper training and the right approach. Your actions as a parent can help make a difference in raising your teen to be a better driver.
Model Good Driving Behaviors
Children are prone to develop practices and habits based on what they observe in the world around them. In fact, much of how your teen handles life will come from how they see you act in similar situations. If you want them to follow the rules, stay calm and focus on the road ahead, model the importance of these practices in your own driving habits. It’s never too soon to change to safer techniques, especially since your children will be silently observing which rules you think actually matter, from following the speed limit to stopping completely at designated locations.
There are many dangerous distractions that can impair your teen’s judgment and reaction time while driving. While eating and extremely loud music or headphones can be a problem, few things are more distracting than operating a cell phone while driving. Come up with a system that helps your teen stay focused from the moment they turn the ignition until they park at their final destination.
Encourage Extra Education Courses
Never assume that your kid has learned something that wasn’t covered explicitly in their driver’s education course, even if it seems like common sense. Extra classes are a great way to help make your kids more aware of the potential dangers and consequences of poor driving choices. Taking something like a drug and alcohol awareness class online can not only educate your child, but it can even reduce your auto insurance rates in some cases.
Put in the Practice Time
Good driving habits take time. Once your teen has their learner’s permit, which you should encourage as soon as they’re old enough, set aside time as often as possible to help them practice their skills. While it’s best to start in remote areas where there’s room for error, make sure you progress to more realistic scenarios. Don’t shy away from the tough stuff, like merging and parallel parking. Just be sure they’re ready for the open road first.
By starting early with intentional steps, you can set your teen up for success behind the wheel. Take action to help your teen become a better driver today!