How to Help Your Child Learn to Drive | OK Carz

Graphic showing a student driver in a yellow car on a driving course with an instructor nearby

Tips for Parents Teaching Their Teen How to Drive a Car

As exciting as it is to learn how to drive or see your child do so, it can be a very nerve-racking experience for both parties. So, what is the best way to help your child learn to drive? Here are some tips we recommend parents follow when teaching their teen how to drive a car.

Be Patient and Stay Calm

Close up of a "Please Be Patient Student Driver" sticker

Remember back when you first started learning to drive. Chances are, there were times where the experience got frustrating. When teaching your child to drive, it’s best to be patient and stay calm. Getting angry or overacting to their faults can cause your driver’s confidence to plummet and can be dangerous if they are still driving. Instead, gently explain what they’re doing wrong and tell them how to fix it. You want them to see you as someone there to help.

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Decide Where to Drive Before They Drive

Some streets aren’t suitable for beginners. Before you and your teen take a drive, decide where you will go and base that route on their skill level. Start small, like an empty parking lot, and slowly work your way up. It’s not a good idea to make your teen drive in a busy intersection on their first day, after all.

Be Clear with Your Instructions

You can reduce the stress of getting behind the wheel by providing clear instructions on what you want your driver to do. Say “correct” instead of “right” as “right” can be interpreted for “turn right”. If they need to brake, tell them to “brake” instead of “slow down” or “be careful”. Also, make sure to remind them here and there to look beyond the car in front to avoid “tunnel vision”.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Your teen will not be good at driving after one day of practice. It takes hours to master the skill and trying to cram all those hours into a short time-span isn’t helpful nor is it safe. Plan driving sessions over multiple days and consider limiting their time behind the wheel, such as one hour. If they’ve been driving for awhile and want to stop, let them stop and continue the session later.

Driving instructor teaching a student driver how to drive

Set an Example

Even when they are young, your kids will notice how well you drive, including whether you drive above the speed limit, wear your seat belt, use your phone behind the wheel, and stay a safe distance from the car in front. As a role model, you should set an example of what good driving looks like by always following traffic laws and practice safe driving.

Sign Them Up for Driving School

While parents should help their kids learn how to drive, it isn’t an alternative to driving school. Driving school instructors are trained on how to properly teach your teen how to drive and notice common mistakes you may have missed. Before your teen starts driving, be sure to sign them up at your local driving school.

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