Let’s face it; there are few things more exciting in a young person’s life than the moment that they finally find themselves behind the wheel of a car. Suddenly, a whole world of possibilities, freedom, and independence opens up to them, and they’re able to take control of their lives. In fact, you probably remember that moment in your own life incredibly well. However, when it’s your own child behind the wheel, that can all change. Suddenly, what you used to see as a method of freedom and escape becomes a two-ton death trap and every moment that your child is in the driver’s seat is filled with total panic for you. However, there’s nothing that you can do; your child needs to learn to drive. Not only is it an important rite of passage for any young person, but it’s going to help to make them a much more responsible adult in the long run. Of course, being able to get to the point where to let them get behind the wheel can be a lot harder than a lot of people expect. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do in order to learn to trust your child behind the wheel.
Find the right instructor
If your child is going to get out on the road, then they need someone to show them the ropes. Having the right is pretty much invaluable and can often mean the difference between a healthy respect and confidence on the road, and feeling totally panicked and out of their depth whenever they start the engine. Don’t assume that the first person you find is going to be the right fit. As with so many other things, just because someone is qualified, and in all likelihood very good at what they do, that doesn’t mean that they’re going to be the right instructor for your child. Make sure that it’s someone that they get along with and that they feel comfortable with. You might assume that you’re the best person to teach them, but you aren’t necessarily going to be able to cover all of the essentials in the way that they need in order to pass their test.
Take things slow
For a lot of young people, there’s a temptation to try and jump into things as quickly as possible in order to right away. But the truth is that learning to drive, as with learning just about anything, takes time. Make sure that when you’re out in the car with them, that you take things slow and help them to learn gradually. If they try to push themselves too far too fast, or if you put too much pressure on them, then the entire experience is going to be completely miserable for both of you. Even something as simple as slowly driving around the block in order to get used to how driving a car actually feels can be incredibly useful. Things like shifting gears or judging the speed that you approach a corner might feel like second nature to you, but they’re things that young people have to learn completely from scratch.
You might not be the ideal instructor for your child but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of things that you can do in order to help them improve as a driver. For one thing, there’s plenty of theory that goes into learning to drive that so often gets ignored. Sure, the mechanical act of driving is the most important part, but without knowing the rules of the road or how to actually keep a car working, those skills are going to be pretty useless. Head out in the car with them, test them on their driving theory over dinner, do whatever you can to help them improve as a driver which is going to work wonders for setting your own mind at ease.
Here’s the thing, you may not want you child behind the wheel of a car. It may be because you want them to stay safe, it may be because you worry about the kinds of things that they’ll get up to when they’re out on their own. However, it’s incredibly important that you remember just what a significant moment in a young person’s life learning to drive is. You need to be as supportive of that as possible otherwise your child is just going to end up getting frustrated which can lead to irresponsible and reckless behaviour behind the wheel which is absolutely the worst possible thing that can happen.
Learn to let go
When it all comes down to it, you can’t learn to drive for them. They need to be out their on the road learning for themselves. And yes, that does mean that they’re probably going to end up making mistakes, but that just the way things are. The truth is that you probably make mistakes out on the road all the time without thinking. Because your child is learning, they’re going to be spending much more time focusing on getting things right. It’s important that you learn to let go and just support your child in this incredibly important step that they’re taking towards becoming a more independent and responsible young person. And as long as you support them as much as possible, you can be sure that they’re going to grow up in the very best driver they can be.
Of course, one of the most important things to remember is that those feelings of worry whenever your child starts the engine are never going to go away. The reality of being a parent is that you’re just going to end up feeling worried about every single thing that your child does, and driving can be pretty dangerous. You’ve just got to have faith that you’ve raised them to be responsible enough that they will be as safe as possible out on the road.