Teaching your teenage daughter to be a good driver starts with you being a good driving instructor. This will require excellent communication skills on your part, not to mention the patience of a saint! It also helps if you are well-versed in the rules of the road.
Below, find five tips to help you prepare your teen for years of responsible driving. With a little help from you, she’ll be ready to pass that exam and take the wheel with confidence.
Five Tips for Teaching Your Teen Daughter To Be a Good Driver
It is important to recognize the simple truth that children learn what we show them, not just what we teach them. If you spend hours going over the rules with your daughter, but she routinely observes you driving recklessly, you can’t be too surprised if she follows your lead and runs that red light while texting. As a parent, the onus is most definitely on you!
1.) Set your teen up for success. Before she sets foot on the gas pedal, make sure your daughter passes not just the written test to get her permit but also any quizzes you may give her. Pose questions concerning the dangers of distracted driving, phone use behind the wheel and the most basic traffic laws. If she flubs your test, don’t give her the keys; no, not even for a quick drive around the block! Have her earn the responsibility of driving by taking the process seriously.
2.) Tell her stories. Even when we don’t think they’re listening, kids can learn a lot from hearing their parents’ personal experiences. A study by Ford Motor Company showed nearly 60% of teens polled wanted more of this kind of interaction while learning to drive. Tell your child about lessons you learned the hard way, as well as examples of times you may have been tempted to break a driving rule but didn’t.
3.) Don’t sugarcoat potential dangers of the road. Your teen needs to know just how much new responsibility is on her shoulders. Highlight the importance of defensive driving, sober driving and never texting while driving. Impart that these simple choices are actually life and death decisions when a vehicle is involved.
4.) Allow your daughter to build her confidence. When your daughter takes you out for practice, try not to overwhelm her even if you are feeling anxious. The time for a pop quiz is before she gets in the car. Once she’s on the road, allow your daughter to focus on applying what she has learned so far. Making your teen driver nervous by repeatedly gasping, over-correcting her or drilling statistics into her head will only prove counterproductive.
5.) Set goals and offer rewards for your child’s good driving habits. Explain the importance of restricted, supervised driving at first, and be sure she doesn’t view the supervision as a punishment. Let her know she can earn her driving freedom by consistently demonstrating she deserves it. Explain why teenagers are in a high risk driver group, and go over the details of her teenager auto insurance policy together.
In conclusion, try to enjoy the experience of teaching your teenage daughter to drive. Like any other milestone, she will have passed it before you know it and you may actually find you miss the experience of teaching her something so important once she’s out on her own!