Teaching Your Teen to Drive

Learning to drive is an exciting time for a lot of teenagers, and a terrifying moment for many of their parents. It can be difficult to balance the trepidation you have as a parent helping your teen enter this phase of their life along with trying to help them focus on the road. For those who aren’t in the habit of teaching, this is naturally going to be a bit stressful. That’s all right, though. When you hop into your Nissan Altima in Santa Ana, use some of the following tips in order to help make this period a more comfortable one.


One thing you have to understand is everyone learns at their own pace. The same applies to the classroom and behind the wheel. In some cases, if you try to push too hard, too early, then you may end up overly stressing your teen rather than motivating them. The last thing you want to do is sour them on something that they’re likely going to be spending the rest of their life doing. In addition, someone who is too anxious may end up becoming a hazard behind the wheel. So, if your child implies that they want to take it slow early on and keep to the simpler roads, that may not be a bad idea.


Speaking of those simpler roads, you may have a bit of a question regarding where to start. When you first teach your child to drive, don’t try to wing it. Plan out beforehand what roads you’re going to go on to make sure the path is a good match for their stage of confidence. Try to lead by example. As teens get closer to driving age, they’re going to look at the behavior of other drivers, including you. Make sure that they aren’t picking up bad habits, as the old wisdom of “do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t really apply here.


When you’re on the road together, there’s also a right and wrong way to communicate. When they do something wrong, you don’t want to end up being overly harsh, as this is more likely to trigger defensive behavior than changed behavior (these are teenagers after all). Stay calm, and try to lead them to the conclusion that they made a mistake.


Hitting the road for the first time can be frustrating but also a chance to bond, and a chance for you to get a little more reassurance for yourself. Letting teens on the road is never easy, but millions of families do it each year without a hitch. It doesn’t take much in order to get it right, just a little empathy and a little planning.
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