Is Your Child Starting to Drive: Tips for Nervous Parents

Posted November 7, 2022 by in Lifestyle
woman in drivers seat looking into side mirror or car

Being a parent involves coaching your child through several important milestones, and there is no bigger milestone than learning to drive. While your child may be excited about the prospect of getting behind the wheel, it can be a nerve-wracking experience for parents. There is a lot that can go wrong if the roads aren’t treated with the respect they deserve, but this respect only comes from years of practice.

There is no need to fret, though. This article will talk you through how to approach this next step so you can relax when it is time for your kid to learn to drive.

Head Out On Roads You Know

If you feel it is best that you teach your child to drive, then you may want to do so on roads that you know well. Part of learning how to drive is learning how to predict other vehicles, and there is no better place to practice than somewhere you are familiar with.

Consider the roads nearby your house as the shallow end of the pool. Your child will have spent plenty of time on these roads, so they should be confident enough to know what to expect. Only once they have mastered the basics of manoeuvring safely around moving traffic can you move them on to the next stage.

Start With An Automatic

Everyone learns at a different pace, so you may find that your child struggles with the concept of both operating the gears and peddles at the same time. This lack of coordination is no reason to be concerned. It just means that your child may benefit from moving back a step.

Automatic cars are preferred by first-time drivers as they take care of the gear-changing process for you. Therefore, you may benefit from renting an electric vehicle and learning about it at before you use a manual car. This approach allows your child to get sued to the basics of steering and braking at the right time. Only then can you move on to the more complex task of learning how and when to switch gears.

Go Through Things Ahead Of Time

The world seems like a completely different place when you are behind the wheel of a car. Stopping distances appear smaller, and you suddenly become aware of how fast you are moving when on an empty road. As such, you can expect a new set of instructions to sound a lot more stressful in this situation.

Before you head out in the car, make sure you explain any new concepts you will be tackling during your next lesson. This approach gives your child the chance to prepare for what is to come, and it provides them with some context when the time comes to perform the new manoeuvre. Your aim as an instructor should be to keep them as relaxed as possible. Giving your child a heads-up is a great way to relieve stress and keep them focused on the task at hand.

Stay Consistent

It is common for two parents to share the role of driving instructor. While this approach may save you both time, it can prove to be quite confusing for the person learning to drive. Everyone has their own methods and habits when it comes to driving, which means that your child may be hindered if they receive conflicting information.

If you are going to share the burden of teaching your child to drive, then perhaps it is a good idea to sit down together first to make sure you are both on the same page. If you find that this is impossible, then perhaps it is in your child’s best interests if only one of you takes them out on the roads.

Understand That Mistakes Happen

As a parent, it can be difficult to distance yourself from your child’s driving and safety. Every new driver makes mistakes, and it is easy for you to spiral and think of the worst-case scenario whenever your child misses the mark.

However, these mistakes are bound to happen, and coming down too hard is only going to make your child more nervous. Try to remain calm and explain to them why the mistake happened without assigning blame. It is also important to encourage your child to continue moving forward after a setback. If your child stops their lessons, they may never find the enthusiasm to start again. Be patient and calm, and the teaching process should go smoothly.

The thought of your child driving is always going to be a scary prospect. The only thing you can do as a parent is to prepare them for it as best you can. If you are nervous, then your child will pick up on your emotions. Remain calm, and your child is more likely to become a confident and capable driver.

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