“Mom, Dad, can I borrow the keys?”
That’s a phrase that sends chills down many a parent’s spine. A teenager behind the wheel of the family vehicle (or their own) is a scary thought, but only if they’re not properly prepared. So, some teaching is in order.
Still, teaching a teenager to do anything can be a challenge, let alone something as difficult and important as driving. Here are some tips for getting all the important points across without anyone getting on anyone else’s nerves.
Ditch the distractions
Trust us, they don’t need their phones to learn how to drive. Nor do they need to hear that new Bieber track, even if it is super catchy. Once they’ve got the basics down, then you can do your carpool karaoke, family edition.
Plan your route in advance
Don’t wing it when it comes to where you’ll be training. An empty lot, downtown during a non-busy hour, the outskirts of town…just know where you’re going.
Don’t get frustrated
Do you remember what it was like being a teenager? Things can be a little…imbalanced. So, when you’re teaching them the ways of the road, make sure that you always do so with a calm and cool disposition. Even if they’re losing it, don’t let your teen put pressure on you.
Correct with questions
Rather than pointing out an error, ask them a leading question. When they discover the answer themselves, they’ll feel more accomplished and be more open to your pointers.
Lead by example
You know that old expression “monkey see monkey do?” Well, it’s actually about teens. They’re always watching you, so wear your seatbelt, signal, don’t forget to shoulder check and for goodness sake, don’t hot-rod.
Decide what the lesson is before you set out
It’s tempting to just get out on the road and address things as they come up, but making a list of things to focus on during driving sessions is a much better teaching technique. It’ll also help you make sure that you don’t forget anything important. Involve your teen in deciding what to tackle for each lesson. Again, this will also help you realize all the little things you do when you drive that you normally don’t think about.