Teaching Your Teenager How to Drive

One of the most taxing experiences in parenthood is teaching your teen how to drive. It is very time consuming, adds to the family expenses and can be nerve-wracking as well. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools and tips available to help cut down on the stress of introducing your teen to the road so it does not need to be a difficult chore for either party allowing you to get back to more enjoyable things like family picnics.

First Driving Lessons

Before you take your teenager out on the road you need to double check what laws your state regarding teen driving. Make sure you know what classes they need to take, how many practice hours they must have under their belt and when they must take a driving exam in order to secure their license. Learn about any curfews or restrictions that might apply to when they can drive or where they are allowed to take a vehicle.

If your state requires your teen to pass a driving exam in addition to a written test in order to get their license, get information on what is included on the exam and what it takes to pass. In addition to helping your teen get used to the roads and traffic around the area you live, you will want to practice everything they will be expected to do with the instructor so they are sure to pass with ease. Some states also have certain standards for vehicles that can be used for a driving examination so be sure to check if your car makes the cut.

Once you are ready to get on the road, remember to be patient. Every teen is different so you cannot assume techniques that helped you or another of your children learn will be beneficial to the teen behind the wheel. Encourage them to practice on different kinds of roads and in different levels of traffic, but do not push them farther than they are comfortable. Give your teen tips as they drive, but in a calm way that will not startle them if they are nervous.

When giving tips and instructions during a driving lesson, explain why you do things a certain way to help them understand. Let them know where they need to watch for oncoming traffic, the laws in your area and specifics about your car that they will need to keep in mind when they are on the road by themselves. Always be aware of what is going on around you so you can give directions in a timely manner and help your teen avoid danger.

Be careful about the directions you give and when you give them. Inexperienced drivers will take more time to complete a task such as merging than you would so you will need to give them plenty of time to maneuver successfully. Be considerate of the language you use as well. For example, using the word "right" when you are not referring to taking the vehicle in that direction can cause confusion.

Above all, you need to be realistic about the goals you set when teaching your teenager how to drive. It is going to take time before they master the skills necessary to handle more dangerous situations such as highway traffic or driving at night. Do not force your teen to drive in bad weather or for long periods of time until both of you are sure that your teen can handle the responsibility. Keep an honest dialogue flowing so you are both on the same page about what you are ready to try and what still needs practice.

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