It’s a time in a parent’s life that’s often mixed with both fear and excitement, but getting your teenager out in a car on the open road, is an essential part of them growing up. Therefore, it’s worth putting as much effort into them becoming the best driver possible so that they are safe, responsible, and you don’t have to worry every single time that they leave the driveway on their own. Of course, there will be hiccups and bumps in the road along the way; however, it’s your job as their parent, to guide them through everything, invest your time in their development, and ensure they’re well-equipped to deal with the road ahead. The main thing is not to panic if you’re in the car together and there’s a worrying situation; if you struggle with remaining calm., then it might be best to encourage your teen’s other parent to get involved during the early stages.

You also don’t want your teenage driver to become over-confident; this is when they can lose focus, and they may not notice everything that’s going on around them on the road. Overconfidence can lead to dangerous situations and lapse in good judgement. So, it’s about striking a balance; your kid needs to have enough knowledge and skills when they drive to make great efficient decisions, but without any sense of cockiness. It sounds like a great deal of work to take on, and it sort of is, but you can utilize the help of qualified and reputable professionals to help their driving journey, and practice won’t make perfect, but it can come pretty close. It’s worth organizing your time, along with your teen’s time; they’ll need to be prepared to sacrifice some of the evenings and weekend free-time so that they can get into a new routine on the road. The following are some ideas, inspiration, and advice for worried parents, who want to encourage their teen to become a safe and confident driver.

Qualifications Are Key

Like any job or task ahead; it’s only worth learning about it the proper, thorough, and legal way. The specific rules of the road evolve and change over the years, and they may be very different to when you passed your driving test. Therefore, it’s crucial that you read up on what’s expected if you’re going to be involved in your teen learning to drive. You’ll need to start with them achieving their permit; they can now do an online learner’s permit exam so that it will better fit around their other commitments and study. Once they have this, it’s time to get behind the wheel as often as possible so that they can get to the next stage of the process, and pass their test. It’s definitely worth investing in driving lessons; instructors will not only be able to help your teen to learn, but they’ll also have a thorough knowledge of what’s expected in the test so that they can focus on the right areas. Driving lessons are also a great way to get your teenager into the routine of regular driving; much like school, this is crucial for them to learn and understand what they need to do. They’ll also be able to get used to handling a car in a safe environment; with a calm instructor right by their side.

If your teenager will be driving their own car, or even your vehicle once they’ve passed; you need to couple their professional lessons with some of your own. Therefore, make sure you take them out on the roads in the car they’ll regularly be driving in between them seeing their instructor. Learning outside of their lessons will also allow them to experience the road at different times of the day, and with varying situations of traffic. Often, a driving test will take place whenever the center can allocate one or fit them in; therefore, the more times they’re out on the road at varying times, the better chance they’ll have of passing. The focus needs to be on them passing their test; however, don’t push a teen who’s not ready yet. If an under-confident and unskilled driver manages to pass their test; they can be a danger to other road users, and themselves. It’s therefore, a smart idea to keep an eye on their progress in the car and speak to their instructor after each lesson so that you can get a better sense of what and where needs more focus and work.

Learning Doesn’t Stop After Their Test

Once they’ve passed their driving test (congrats to you both), the real lessons of the road come in. They will still be very much a fledgeling driver; only they won’t have the support of their professional instructor anymore. This is the time where regular practice becomes paramount so that you can have peace of mind when they’re driving on their own. Much like when they were still learning; you’ll need to find a schedule that works for both of you, and ensure that you are accompanying them on the road for the weeks, and sometimes, months ahead. You can go a little bit further each time you’re in the car together, and you can make it a handy part of family life. Get them to drive to and from the supermarket with you, allow them to drive the family to see friends and loved ones, and try to be there with them whenever they’re making a new or unusual journey for the first time.

You’ll need to enforce boundaries and rules regarding your teen’s time in the car; give them a curfew so that you know they’re not out late at night on the road when they might be tired or with friends. Be strict on their usage; they’ll come to see driving the car as a privilege and not a right, and they’re more likely to be mindful of the decisions when on the road. When you’re out in the car with them; praise their good driving for their self-esteem and confidence, and try to calmly talk through their mistakes when you’re both back at home. Being a calm, positive, and helpful passenger will help your teen to take those qualities into a successful driving journey ahead.

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Emily Muelford

Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.

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