Learning to drive can be a nerve-racking experience; sometimes almost more so for the parent than the teen learning to drive. While an online driving course can be beneficial in helping your teen who is learning to drive, the best experience comes from getting out on the road. Here are three key suggestions for you as a parent sitting in the passenger seat and helping your teen navigate the roads while they’re learning to drive.
Be Understanding, Yet Challenge Them
Learning to drive takes practice and experience and when it comes down to it, some teens simply learn faster than others. Some are more cautious and some are a little more, shall we say, carefree. Understand that each new driver moves at his or her own pace and that what might be no problem for one driver may take more practice and preparation for the other. Don’t take an overly cautious driver on the freeway before they are ready, but don’t keep them away from it forever. When you feel they are ready, invite them to stretch a bit outside their comfort zone. Speedy and confident young drivers, on the other hand, may need to be reminded of traffic rules.
Positive reinforcement is generally more effective than negativity. With a new driver at the wheel, mistakes are easy to come by, but make a special effort to point out the good things your young driver is doing. It’ll go a long way and it’ll help them gain more confidence. Let them know you believe in them and trust them and watch them as they begin to flourish.
Driving is hard enough without having someone even more stressed out than you sitting in the passenger seat. Take a deep breath and remain calm. Regardless of how out of control your new driver seems, getting nervous and yelling will rarely help. Speak in a direct, yet also laid back tone. The more calm you remain, the easier it will be for your teen who is learning to drive.