Teaching Your Teen to Drive. Resources for parents of teenagers, including residential treatment centers and military academies and Christian boarding schools.

Teaching Your Teen to Drive

Teaching your teen to drive can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. It can also be one of the most nerve-racking experiences you will ever have. As a parent it is your responsibility to help your teen transition into this stage of their life. It is an important one, and one that you have a lot of influence over. Doing it right is not as hard as you may expect. Use the following steps to ease the anxiety and make this a positive transition in their life.

• Keep Calm. Remember, you were in this same position in your life not too long ago. Try to remember how nervous you were. Remember how badly you wanted to please your parents by doing everything right. Remember how scared you were when you first got behind the wheel. Now that you have put yourself in their shoes, try to approach the subject compassionately and calmly. They are going to hang on every one of your words and reactions.
• Teach Maintenance. Your teen needs to know how to change a tire, check the oil and put fluid in the windshield cleaner bucket. By teaching these things to your teen you are showing them that there is a responsibility that comes with driving. In addition, this will also help your teen understand that a car needs to be cared for to help prevent it from breaking down or causing an accident. Make sure they know how to fill a tire and check the air pressure. Explain dashboard warning lights and what to do if one comes on.
• Explain. You need to have a talk with your teen about accidents and what to do if one happens. Make sure they understand that all accidents, no matter how minor, must be reported. Tell them about texting and driving and how dangerous this can be.

As accident lawyers Steinger, Iscoe & Greene state online, you should collect the facts and seek medical care after an accident, even if you don’t think you need it.  Set standards for the amount of people allowed in the car at one time. Enforce seatbelt rules and establish guidelines for other things that can be distracting while driving.
• Be Patient. You did not learn to drive perfectly the first time you got behind the wheel, and neither will your teen. That is why empty shopping center parking lots are perfect for teaching your teen how to maneuver the car. If they mess up, be patient; it will come with practice.

Using these simple steps will help you teach your teen to drive. Let yourself be at peace with this step in their life, or else it will be very traumatic for both of you. Have patience and try to remember how scary it was the first time you drove.

By approaching this with a very positive manner you will teach your teen that this is as important to you as it is to them. It will become a bonding experience in addition to a driving lesson. It will be great to see your teen transition into adulthood with your guidance and love.


Researcher Melanie Fleury can remember when her father taught her how to drive in empty parking lots on the weekends. She used information found on the website for Steinger, Iscoe & Greene to remind her of what she should teach her children to do in case of a car accident.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/statefarm/9734371424/

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