Teaching your teen to drive requires a truckload of patience and nerves of absolute steel, which is why parents are encouraged to enroll their teens in a good driving school in order to learn the rules of the road. However, if you are feeling up to the task of tackling your teen’s driving ambitions, then at least try to stick to a few basic Do’s and Don’t’s that will help both your teen and you navigate the treacherous terrain of getting that first driver’s licence.
DO be patient with your teen. Your teenager will probably be chomping at the bit to get behind the wheel of a car and will undoubtedly do many things to make your heart jump into your throat. Try to keep calm and remember that you probably were no better at their age.
DO start off their very first lesson behind the wheel in a large and empty parking lot. Therefore, choosing an after-hours time for your teen’s first driving lesson is probably best. Parking lots are large, brightly lit and have limited obstacles to interfere with those first few lessons.
DO give your teen security behind the wheel by encouraging them. Although you might be tempted to scare your teen about the dangers inherent in driving, it is best not to instill too much fear in them because fear leads to insecurity, which leads to poor driving and that raises the risk of getting into an accident.
DO remember to set limits on your teen’s driving. Since most accidents happen at night, limit their ability to drive at night until they have been driving for at least a year or two or until you are confident in their driving ability.
DO draw up a driving contract with your teen that contains all of the responsibilities that go along with driving.
DON’T set a bad example by driving too fast, drinking and driving or breaking road rules. Teens learn by example – so set a good one.
DON’T let them learn how to drive from a friend! Teens teaching teens to drive is never a good idea. It is best your teen learn either from a professional driving instructor or from you.
Lastly, remember that once your teen gets his/her licence, your insurance premiums will go through the roof. One of the best ways to avoid such a thing is to have them attend a driving school. Insurance companies will also give better rates to teens who have learned how to drive at a recognized driving school.