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How to Teach Your Child to Drive

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As an experienced driver, who better than you to teach your child how to drive? You are an authority. You have the knowledge. Unfortunately, emotions can get in the way. Your child may find it difficult to perform well when you are the instructor. When someone learns how to operate a vehicle, they can experience stress. Having a parent as an instructor could easily magnify the stress that the young driver feels. While you may know how to teach your child to drive a car, you must be very aware of your child's emotions.

Put The Child At Ease
The learning process can be difficult for a child. They may realize that they are going to be in control of a very large, and dangerous, piece of machinery. There are a lot of chances to get into trouble. The student may experience a great deal of stress when they contemplate the driving process. Be sure that you explain that while vehicles can be dangerous, they can, (and must), be operated safely. Everyday, most people operate their cars without any issues at all. Most importantly, the mood of the student must be controlled to ensure that they have the best chance of driving well. Don't let emotions overpower the situation. Make sure that the mood is relaxed. The more that the stress is reduced during lessons, the better the training.

Be Sure That You Know the Rules
As an instructor, you are teaching someone who can only learn what you know. Do you know all of the rules? If you are at all unsure, check to make sure. While you may be a good driver, things may have changed greatly since you learned yourself. New types of signs, merges, lights, and more, may have been added to your area. Your student will be examined for their knowledge of all of these. They must know all about them. Do you? Make sure and refresh your training if necessary.

Ensure that the Child Knows How Serious Driving Is
Unfortunately, people are involved in car accidents everyday. These may cause terrible injuries, or worse. Whenever someone is in control of a car, they are piloting a huge machine that can cause incredible damage. The driver must be in absolute control. A student must be aware of the risk and responsibility. They should not be scared of the car, but very respectful. You, as the teacher, must instill this respect in your student. Be sure that they know how to properly control the car by knowing about the various system. Brakes must be in good working order in order to be able to stop the car from any speed. The steering system must be positive. The lights and horn must work. By understanding these systems, and how to use them, your student can have respect for the power of the car, and be able to control it.

Start With Easy Driving Conditions
Be sure that you don't force a student into very busy, and complicated situations right away. They should be made comfortable during their initial driving sessions. Start them off in an industrial area on a Sunday, or holiday. Traffic should be very light. This will eliminate the interaction with other drivers as much as possible. Another good option is a training session within a newly developed neighborhood. In many cases, the roads and signs for a new area may be installed weeks before construction is complete. This gives a realistic experience to the new driver. By controlling the environment as much as possible, you can increase the comfort of the student, making them a better driver in the process.

Don't Pester the Child With Questions
It is natural to want to text a new driver. Doing so during a practical lesson is not a great idea. You may distract the student too much. Limit your questions to things that are happening currently in the lesson. Did the student see a hazard? What option will be chosen at the next intersection? Simple questions like these can be used. The student will be able to handle them as the driving is underway. Don't ask unrelated questions, things that are not in the current realm. Questions of this nature will merely district the student. In time they may be confident enough to be queried while underway, but introduce the examinations slowly.

Celebrate a Good Performance
When a new student is driving, they may make several mistakes. This is all new to them, after all. Sometime, of course, the mistakes may be quite severe, or even dangerous. As an instructor, it is natural to be very concerned about such mistakes. Try to limit them by keeping the student aware of the situation and the proper methods to avoid such mistakes. At the same time, celebrate positive actions. When the student executes a move well, mention that. A quick comment at the time will be very useful. Follow up with a more detailed compliment. You will likely concentrate on the errors but reserve some time for emphasizing the positive actions

Concentrate on Letting the Child Acquire Experience
Be sure that the child gets a lot of driving time when learning. They should have many hours of time behind the steering wheel. Check with your driver licensing office to determine whether they must track their experience in a practical journal. Some jurisdictions may insist on documentation showing quite a number of hours of actual driving time. Be sure that this requirement is met. If you area does not have such a rule, make sure that your student spends at least sixty hours at the steering wheel before they attempt the final driving exam.

Review the Teaching Session Afterwards
When the driving session is over, be sure to discuss the experience with the student. Ask them how they felt their performance was. Did they feel that they made a lot of mistakes? Did they understand the severity of any mistakes? What would they do differently during certain situations? These types of questions can help the student replay the session and separate good behaviors from bad. In the future, the positive traits are to be used and the negatives discarded. By discussing the session in a helpful manner, the student can get a better sense of how they are doing in their learning.



Oct 27, 2014 12:16am
My partner tried to teach me to drive at 17, 19, 22, 25 and 29 and nearly killed each other in every attempt. I took everything personally and he got defensive. Developed an attitude about driving eventually. I learned from a stranger, easier than I did my beloved other half who drives me nuts.

He did everything on this list ... wrong!. thumbs up.
Oct 27, 2014 7:29am
Your experience is not unique, I'm afraid. I taught my wife, son and daughter. It was harder to teach my wife than my children, but we got through it. All three also went to lessons with professional instructors.
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