Teaching Your Teen How to Drive

April 19th, 2013 by

teen_driverAt some point in every parent’s life, they are going to have to spend some time helping their child learn to drive. For many people, this can be an extremely stressful experience, which is perfectly natural. Rather than be a cause of strife, teaching your teen how to drive can be a rewarding bonding experience. Here are a few tips from our Elgin Mazda dealership.

Before Going Out for a Drive

Rather than just going out on the road, take a moment to talk with your child. You’ll want to talk about the route you are going to take and what driving techniques they’ll work on. Ask your child what areas they want to work on and address them during the drive. Pro tip: you can use the vanity mirror in the passenger side as a rearview mirror.

If you’re already panicking and haven’t even left, then this may not be the right time for you. Consider asking your partner or a relative.

Out on the Drive

This is the tricky part for most parents. The key is to continue to remain calm, not get frustrated, and refrain from getting angry with your teen. Have the route established in your mind and give your child instructions with plenty of advanced notice. Be encouraging and praise your child when they do something right. While you shouldn’t talk too much in the car, encourage them to say what they’re doing and what they see on the road.

If and when your teen makes a driving error, do your best not to get flustered. Have them pull over for a bit and calmly talk about what happened. This won’t deflate their self esteem or lead to a big fight.

Talk After the Drive

Before going your separate ways after the drive, take a few minutes to talk about what happened. Both of you should evaluate the drive together, and let your child tell you about what mistakes they made. Give plenty of praise, and your child will look forward to the next drive. Finally, have your child tell you about the areas they need to improve on and what they need to do differently during the drive.