Help your teen learn to drive: Part 2
Teaching your teen to drive…
… may be a scary part of parenting. Wheels recognizes this, but we also try to emphasize how important the role parents play in the learning to drive process is. Think of it this way: a teen may spend (in Wisconsin, may other states have similar laws) 6 hours driving in a car with a driving instructor, however, the teen will spend 40 or more hours in a car with their parent. Since teens are spending so much time with their parents especially compared to the driving instructors, it makes sense that if we want to make teens better drivers we should help parents become better teachers. This post series aims to do just that.
At Wheels we teach a class for parents that is focused on teaching these skills here, but we think that any parent can benefit just from reading these posts.
The second most important skill you can teach your teen
Once you have taught your teen (and likely yourself) some things about where to look while they are driving, and now you are good at pointing out the important things to look for, its time to move next to distracted driving. No matter how much we tell our teens that distracted driving (texting, phone calls, gps, music players, etc) could kill them, we need to understand that teens learn their distracted driving habits mostly from their parents. They have been watching you drive since they were very little, and continue to watch you drive. Do you talk on the phone in the car? Read or answer texts? Do you do anything in the car you would really hope your teen never does? Maybe now is time to make a real impression on your teen and stop. Let me reiterate:
Teens learn their distracted driving habits from their parents
If you would like to have the biggest impact on getting your teen to stop texting and phoning from behind the wheel, make a pact with them. If parents stop, then teens stop, if teens stop, then parents stop. Hold each other accountable too. Here are some accountability ideas:
If teen or parent catches the other driving distracted:
-the offending party puts $1 into a vacation fund jar
-the offending party does the others’ chores that week
-the offending party takes the other to dinner
-the offending party pays for the next tank of gas
Bottom line? If you are serious about not driving distracted, lead by example.