Any parent wants their teen to make it successfully behind the wheel. But once they are behind the wheel, you want to make sure they’re doing their best to drive as safely as possible, too. Getting them behind the wheel of a car legally is one thing, but making sure they drive safely even when you’re not there is a whole different ball game. Here are some pointers that can help you to do both. Take a look at how you can help your teen and give yourself peace of mind at the same time:
Have A Serious Talk With Them About Driving
Before you allow your teen to drive, you need to make sure that they are prepared for this enormous responsibility. Sixteen is still a very young age to drive a car. Teenager’s brains are still developing and learning. This doesn’t mean they are incapable of driving correctly, just that some teens are going to be more ready than others. It can be tough to see through your own child as a parent, but do your best to assess whether they are truly ready or not. They may be begging you to let them drive, but if you know they aren't mature enough to understand the implications of dangerous driving, you shouldn’t give into them.
When you talk to your teen about driving, make sure they know what it’ll mean. They’ll be in control of heavy, deadly piece of machinery. Being out on the road will be scary. They’ll be tempted to show off. Their friends will distract them. Make sure they know all of the dangers and risks associated with driving and that they will take them seriously.
Once you feel confident that your teen will take everything seriously enough, you can move on to the next step.
Take Them Out In Your Car
Taking your teen out in your car for the first time can be scary, so make sure you go somewhere quiet and don’t chuck them in at the deep end. They should enjoy this time in the car, but make sure they're careful and conscious as they maneuver. If they seem to be getting a little bit too cocky, it could be a sign that they still aren't ready to have a car or a license of their own.
If they are careful, listen to you while behind the wheel, and do their best to be safe and responsible, this is a great sign that your teen is ready to learn properly and own their own vehicle.
Be A Good Teacher
If you want to help your teen get behind the wheel, you need to be a good teacher. Staying calm while you're out in the car with them is imperative. If you shout and scream at them every time they make a mistake, you’re going to dampen their spirit and they might not want to learn anymore. They’ll learn faster if you see things as a learning curve and try to put a positive spin on things. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a serious talk to them if they are blatantly taking risks and being silly. However, if they are trying their best, practice staying as stress-free as possible.
Find The Right Type Of Courses For Them
You won’t be able to teach your teen to be a brilliant driver on your own. They’re going to need further training with certified professionals to help them really master this skill. You can look into traffic safety courses, crash courses, and even online courses and resources that can help them to expand their skills. Make sure you look together and let them have some input too. It’ll make learning all the more enjoyable and rewarding for them.
Find A Great Instructor
A great instructor for private tuition is always a good idea. They may be able to teach your teen things you wouldn’t be able to, and you can make sure you liaise with them to get an outside opinion on how your child is doing.
Always Set A Great Example With Your Own Driving
If you’re not setting a great example with your own driving, your child is going to copy you. It doesn’t matter what you say or what you do. If you’re driving like a lunatic, getting road rage at every opportunity, and using your phone while you drive, your teen will copy you. Start setting an example for them as early on as possible, and not just once they begin to learn.
Put Reasonable Expectations In Place
Make sure you chat to your teen about your expectations once they have their own permit. For example, no night time driving, no driving with more than two friends in the car, and anything else you feel will keep them safe while they get used to the road.
Download Apps To Keep Tabs On Your Teen
It’s not that you don’t trust your teen, you just want peace of mind. These apps can help to give you peace of mind. There are apps that lock your teen’s cell phone when they are driving faster than 10mph, and calls will go straight to voicemail (Sprint Drive First - $2 a month).
Teenager Speedster is an app that will alert you when your child is speeding in their vehicle, whether as a passenger or a driver.
Take a look at the app store and reviews and you’ll find plenty of similar options. You can find apps that block texts and send automatic replies when a car is moving, and even apps that can give you a Google Map link and speed of the vehicle. Some apps will also read text messages aloud without your teen having to look at their phone.
Many of these apps can be downloaded with both iPhone and Android, can be personalized to suit you, and cost a very reasonable amount.
Hopefully, this information helps you to feel better about getting your teen behind the wheel. Leave your thoughts below!