“Adolescence is a period of rapid changes. Between the ages of 12 and 17, for example, a parent ages as much as 20 years.” – Author Unknown.
Anyone that argues with that is truly lucky, or has never raised a teenager. There is nothing perhaps as age intensifying as teaching your child to drive a car.
As adults, we know the immense power of the automobile. We’ve all seen wrecks that still haunt us. Some of us have even been involved in them. We are fully aware just how quickly things can go wrong behind the wheel. So, when we consider our children driving, it terrifies us. It’s a very difficult psychological barrier to overcome. To help with that, we have the All Pro Dad Teen Driving Contract. This is a great tool to use to make the rules clear from the start, and to put safety first in the heads of both parent and child.
After signing the contract together, it’s time to begin instilling the responsibility and skills it takes to safely drive on the roads we all share. And pray daily.
Here we offer 6 key points in teaching your child to drive a car:
1. Prepare the Way.
Before our child ever turns the key, we need to make sure we are prepared for that moment. Has your child applied for and received a driver’s permit? What are the insurance requirements? Have they taken Driver’s Ed either in high school or by a private company? Make sure everything is legal and your child is ready for the moment.
2. Set a Good Example.
Parents have been driving a very long time by the time their child is ready to learn. Our habits to the eyes of a new driver can set a very bad example. It goes without saying that we should never pick up our phones or text while driving. However, we also tend to drive with only a few fingers sometimes or with our knees when reaching for something. Consider all your habits in their eyes and clean them up. We have to set the standard.
3. Plan Ahead and Practice.
Start slow and have a plan. You’re not going to take a new driver on the interstate doing 80 mph. Most parents start in a parking lot and work their way up towards the actual road. Know the exact route you will take, consider the potential obstacles and try to limit them, and take into account the road conditions at the time. Once you are driving on a regular basis, continue doing it as often as possible.
4. Preach a Defensive Mindset.
Instilling a defensive nature into your young driver is critical. Discuss as many scenarios as possible and point them out while driving. For a visual lesson they will never forget, show them several YouTube videos of different accidents and discuss why they happened.
5. Tools and Resources.
Many states require a certain amount of hours behind the wheel in different conditions before a license is issued. There are great apps that will track this via GPS and keep the ongoing process recorded. There are also many great websites for specific information on all of these topics and more. We need all the help we can get.
6. Sign a Teen Driving Contract.
If we have followed these steps and all the advice available, our children will understand the point of signing a driving contract. It will hold everyone accountable to protect far more than just a piece of machinery. Don’t become a statistic and a family tragedy. Here is our Teen Driving Contract to read and sign with your child.
Huddle Up Question
Which of your driving habits they think are good habits.