teens

"Things I learned when teaching my children to drive."

Department of Transport and Main Roads
Thanks to our brand partner, Department of Transport and Main Roads

My son Philip, who is almost 13, reminded me he’d be driving in three years’ time.

STOP GROWING UP SO FAST!

Still, I’m pretty excited about teaching him to drive, having helped three young men learn to drive quite well – my little brother (now 34) and my stepsons (27 and 23).

My brother had been taken for a few drives with my mum and sister but he really wanted to learn to drive a manual car. During his first lesson we bunny-hopped so badly and were laughing so hard. And that was the key. We were careful, but we also had fun.

Because driving is fun, and I took the responsibility seriously.

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I wanted him to be happy and relaxed behind the wheel, and gain confidence while I’m teaching him. It was the same with my stepsons. After a couple of lessons with their dad after which they were nervous wrecks, I took them out for a spin and we just carefully enjoyed ourselves.

Teaching kids to drive is pretty overwhelming, but it’s also very interesting. And even though my children aren’t quite old enough to drive (Philip will be in three years and one month) I’m hyper-aware they are watching my every move when I drive.

That meant no displays of road rage.

Patience at all times.

Being relaxed behind the wheel.

Reminding them I needed to concentrate while driving.

My mum was always so stressed out behind the wheel – probably because she was so busy driving us everywhere – and I’m busy too, but that’s no reason not to take our time when we drive.

Still, there’s so much more I need to learn to help my children become competent and responsible drivers.

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This Glorious Mess: You need a parenting mantra. Article continues…

I hate to even think about it but the reality is that newly licensed young drivers are six times more likely to be involved in a serious crash when they become a P1 license holder, regardless of how good a job you think you’ve done in teaching them to drive.

Just because they pass the test doesn’t necessarily mean they are good drivers. There’s always room to improve.

There’s a lot more to teaching children how to drive, with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads sharing some great advice on how parents can ensure their kids become some of the best drivers on the road.

How can I learn more and help my children?

  • Make sure they drive the safest car possible by checking the car’s safety rating;
  • Have positive conversations about driving, discussing different scenarios and how to respond;
  • Teach children not only how they should drive, but mistakes they should look out for from other drivers;
  • Stay involved after they pass their test by talking about their driving experiences, and encouraging positive behaviour;
  • Talk to them about risky driving they display as soon as it happens;
  • Talk to parent friends about their experiences having teens who drive and share information.

What was the best advice you were ever given when learning how to drive?

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.

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