Teaching Teenagers to Drive Without Going Nuts


Kevin Andersen



Every parent knows that the day will come when their child is eligible to get his or her driving permit. Some teenagers are more excited than others about this. No matter what, it is the parents’ job to ensure that their son or daughter practices safe driving habits. That is unless you are willing to pay for private instruction, which can be quite expensive. Many parents who decide to take it upon themselves to teach their child to drive do not have any idea what they are getting themselves into.



The main problem most parents face when teaching their teenager to drive is that parents and teenagers have two completely different viewpoints on learning to drive. Parents tend to view driving as a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly, whereas teenagers see it as a new level of freedom in their lives. Both of these are true in their own ways, but it almost always causes conflict between parent and teenage driver.


You’ll soon find out that teaching your teenager to drive can be both stressful and upsetting for both of you. Your careful instruction will quickly become nagging to your teenager as he or she realizes that having you in the car is not going to be fun. You might be met with an outburst in response to something as simple as “watch your speed.” However, there are some strategies to make the learning experience tolerable for both of you.



First off, it is important to explain to your teenager that driving is a privilege that should be met with serious responsibility. When telling them this, it is important for them to know that you trust them with this privilege but they need to be open to your instructions and tips.



This leads into the second bit of advice: try to minimize the amount of instruction you give your teenager while he or she is driving. This lets your teenager know that you trust his or her judgment, which will further develop a sense of responsibility when driving. If you excessively nag your teenager about small things while driving, he or she will be more likely to make poor decisions while driving alone because of feeling too controlled while in the car with you.



The worst thing you can do while teaching your teenager to drive is to constantly criticize his or her speed and driving characteristics. It is important to understand that your teenager will have a different feel for the vehicle while driving, which means that they might drive somewhat differently than you do. It is best to come to terms with this as soon as possible. Also, avoid pointing out obvious things such as a stop sign ahead unless it is evident that your teenage driver doesn’t see it. Many teenagers look at these remarks as an insult to their intelligence.



Teaching your teenager to drive is a serious endeavor, but it is important to be relaxed and put some trust in the driver. In addition to this, it is important to give advice when it is needed. Be sure to never raise your voice as this puts a new driver under stress. He or she may eventually get the feeling that everything he or she does is wrong. The bottom line is to adapt to the situation so that the learning experience is a positive one for both the parent and the teenage driver.



Kevin Andersen is the owner of an online store that sells personalized books for kids. If you would like to read future articles written by Kevin then subscribe to the Parent’s Tip Blog

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