Should I teach my child to drive?

Learning to drive is a right of passage, but that doesn’t mean parents have to like it when their kids get behind the wheel. So what do you do when they come to you asking if you’ll teach them? Run? Play the “ask your dad” card? Well, both might seem like good options, but if you do decide to take to the passenger seat, Izzy from PassSmart has got some tips to help you, and your child, stay sane!

Don’t take their first lesson

If the thought of your child in charge of a real-life car fills you with dread, you might feel a bit more at ease if they’ve had some practice with a professional instructor first. Get them to book a couple of hours with a driving instructor for their first driving experience. This way they’ll learn the basics of how everything works in a dual control car, and you won’t end up screaming at them to brake (hopefully).

Put yourself in their shoes

Remember that this whole experience is just as stressful for them as it is for you, and if your fingers have turned white from gripping the seat, it’s not going to help their confidence. Think back to your own driving lessons. Millions of people learn to drive every year, and if they can do it, so can your son or daughter. Stay calm, tell them what they’re doing well and what they need to concentrate more on, and explain that getting to grips with driving takes time.

No shouting

There’s a reason why they say you should never mix business with pleasure. Working together with family members is tough. There will be times when you want to scream at each other, but it’s important that you both keep your cool.
If things do get strained, take some time out outside the car. Go for a quick 5 minute wander and meet back at the car again to carry on. If either of you lose your cool with each other, you might struggle to get the teacher, pupil trust back.

Share the teaching

If there’s someone else that can take them for lessons, get them to do a bit of teaching too. They might, for example, find they learn better with their dad, aunt or uncle. Don’t take offence if they do; they might simply just respond better to their teaching style!
You should also make sure they get in some lessons with a trained driving instructor. The average learner takes around 47 hours of professional teaching and 20 hours of private practice to get to test. Not only will some professional tuition give them the best chance when it comes to taking their test, but might also take some of the pressure off you.

If it’s not working, it’s not working

There may come a time when you just have to throw the towel in. If you can’t get used to being their teacher, or they can’t get used to being your pupil, quit while you’re still ahead. Remember you can still support them through their lessons without being their driving instructor!

This guest post was written on behalf of; the site which matches learner drivers with instructors in their area.

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