So, it’s time for your teen to get their driver’s license. While they’re undoubtedly excited, for you this is likely just nerve-wracking. But don’t stress, this process can go smoothly for both of you if you follow some basic tips.
Be a Patient and Open Teacher
Your son or daughter will learn the basics of driving from their Driver’s Ed course and behind-the-wheel lessons with a professional driving instructor, but their most important teacher will be you. The state of Florida requires teen drivers to log 50 hours of supervised driving practice with a parent or guardian, and that means you’ll be giving your teen the most guidance.
Though you may both be nervous and edgy when your teen gets in the front seat, it’s essential that you stay calm and have patience. Yes, mistakes are going to be made. But you have control over how you react to these errors. Yelling will only make things worse; instead, have your teen pull over to the side of the road after a mistake is made, calmly explain what they did wrong, and how to correct it in the future. Be open to any questions your teen may have.
Set a Good Example
Part of being a good teacher includes being a good role model when you’re the one in the driver’s seat. Teens learn by example, and if they see you texting while driving, speeding up to make it through yellow lights, and cutting people off, they will view this as acceptable driving behavior. Be the safe driver you want your teen to be, whether they’re in the car with you or not. Don’t let them pick up your bad habits.
Make Rules and Expectations Clear
Your job doesn’t end as soon as your teen gets their driver’s license. It’s still important that the two of you maintain an open dialogue about driving, and that means discussing driving rules and expectations. A Parent-Teen Driving Contract is a great resource that can help you and your son or daughter come to an agreement on things like driving curfew, having passengers in the car, and more. This way the two of you establish what is and isn’t okay before your teen gets out on the road on their own.
Ultimately, you just need to trust that your teen is going to make the right decisions. Handing over the keys can be tough when you’re a parent, but you need to allow your teen to prove that they can be a responsible driver. They’ve earned their driver’s license, which means they’re capable of applying safe-driving techniques when they’re behind the wheel. Have faith in them, and be proud that you taught them well.
About the Author:
Kelly Larsen is a copywriter for I Drive Safely, provider of online traffic school and driver’s education. With over 15 years’ experience in the field of safe driving, I Drive Safely has provided exceptional online courses to millions of new drivers, drivers looking to handle a traffic ticket and clear their diving record, and drivers looking to save money on auto insurance. To find out more or sign up, please visit http://www.idrivesafely.com/.