Teaching your teenager to drive can be a frightful adventure. Simply passing off control to a young bloke is enough to drive you completely mad!  It’s important to first decide whether Mum or Dad is better suited to be the teacher. Teaching a teenager to drive takes empathy and a grand amount of patience. The child’s relationship with the teaching parent may be more important that who is a better motorist. Here are a few quick hints to get you on your way to driving sensei.

Girl driving car

Things You Should Ask Yourself

Before you begin training, you should ask yourself a few questions to make sure you are prepared for the task. Ask yourself things such as:

  • Do I get nervous easily when other people drive?
  • Do I have the ability to guide my teenager through a potentially dangerous situation with only my words?
  • Can I remain calm if my child makes a mistake or damages my vehicle?

Think these questions through thoroughly, and if you don’t feel you are capable of answering yes to them, then you should probably allow someone else to teach the lesson.


Planning Your First Lesson

The first lesson with your son or daughter should be focused on safety and familiarity with the car. Have them check the mirrors and lights before setting off, and make sure everyone is wearing their seatbelts. Turn the radio off!  The radio just adds extra distraction. Describe to your teen everything on the instrument panel. If applicable to the child’s interests, relate the panel and its function to watching your stats on a popular video game.

Also, be sensitive to the language you use to communicate in this situation. When you use words like slowly, or carefully, you don’t necessarily communicate a definite action. You should be specific. Choose a particular speed you want them to drive instead of just telling them to drive slowly. Instead of instructing the teen not to get too close to parked cars, try saying, “Keep well towards the centre of the road and look well ahead!”