Some teens experience nerves and apprehension when it comes to learning to drive. This may make it difficult for them to focus and learn effectively during teen driving school. Here are several things you can do as a parent or guardian to help your teen work through their driving-related nerves and anxieties:
Talk Through the Hesitation
One way to help your teen overcome their nerves is to discuss their concerns regarding teen driving school openly. Ask them to share their worries and fears about getting behind the wheel. Try not to dismiss their feelings by acknowledging that their worries are valid and understandable. Reassure them that it can be expected to feel nervous when learning to drive, and that confidence develops with time and practice. Discuss the benefits of being a good driver, such as having the freedom to travel independently.
Walk Through Driving Safety Steps
Teach your teen to check the mirrors and adjust the driver’s seat before driving the car. Consistently review the basics of driving, such as road rules, vehicle controls, and traffic signs, and answer any questions. Emphasize the importance of driving defensively, staying alert, and avoiding distractions on the road. Doing these things may help your teen feel more comfortable and prepared for the drive ahead.
You can also discuss specific issues they may struggle with, such as backing into a parking spot, merging onto the highway, or navigating a particular intersection. This communication can help show your teen that you’re invested in their success and are there to support them.
Create a Driving Routine
Creating a driving routine allows your teen to gain confidence by practicing frequently. It may be helpful for beginners to start with more minor routes that are easier to navigate and then gradually increase the difficulty level. Plan driving sessions with specific goals, such as highway merging or parallel parking. Practice challenging maneuvers in areas that are safe and have low traffic levels. Scheduling routine practice provides the opportunity for your teen to become more comfortable behind the wheel and calm their anxieties.
Model Good Driving Habits
Parents play a significant role in shaping their teenager’s driving habits. You can model safe driving behavior by following traffic rules, avoiding distractions, and being courteous. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seatbelt, including yourself. Avoid texting or talking on the phone while driving. Putting mobile devices on silent may be helpful and encourage your teen to do the same when driving. Discuss other things to avoid, such as drinking alcohol and driving while drowsy.
Be Patient and Celebrate Progress
As a parent, strive to be patient with your teenager as they learn to drive. Remember that learning to drive is a process; everyone learns at their own pace. Criticizing and getting upset with your teenager during driving lessons may make them more nervous and self-conscious. Provide constructive feedback and praise their efforts whenever possible. This may help motivate your teenager and increase their confidence behind the wheel.
Find a Reliable Teen Driving School
Look for a teen driving school with interactive lessons, patient and supportive instructors, and a comprehensive curriculum. Ask for recommendations from friends and family or read reviews from past driver’s education students and parents. A good driving school can make all the difference in instilling confidence in your teen as they learn to drive.