Teaching your 16-yr old to drive

Phillyfan

O.G.
Nov 25, 2007
6,406
295
In process of teaching son to drive - he received learner's permit a couple months ago. Does anyone have some helpful tips? It has been a little stressful:nuts: and I want to make it a positive experience for both of us! TIA.
 

hartofalyon

foreign contaminant
Jan 14, 2007
438
0
NYC
www.adventstyle.com
hmm, i don't have any tips of my own, however, i would strongly advise for him to enroll in a driving class. they teach you all the little things you need to pass the road test. for example, looking behind your shoulder when changing lanes, even when pulling over to the curb. the tester will look for these little actions, and if they are not performed, points are deducted. imo, driving is different than driving to pass the road test. like now, i rarely come to a complete stop at a stop sign, however, you'd fail immediately at a road test if you don't. also, at least when i was enrolled in driving school a while back, they taught you how to parallel park based on their car and how many revolutions you should turn the steering wheel in each step. this almost makes it impossible to fail the parallel park section of the road test. well, that's just my opinion. i passed with one try because my instructor told me exactly what the tester looks for and exactly what i should do in situations.
 

rendodan110

Danielle
O.G.
Oct 9, 2007
2,458
379
48
Tacoma, WA
I have 3 with learners permits right now yes I am a brave woman lol. I have the kids drive first at night its a challenge but less traffic, then we move on to parking lots for stops and turns, I have noticed none of my kids turned hand over hand until i TOLD them to, after that we have had safe turns. then onto the freeway at a none busy time and practice slow until they feel secure enough to go fast. so far we have had very good luck and I think they have gotten very good at driving.
 

ronsdiva

NE Born OH Bred
O.G.
Jul 6, 2007
8,740
0
Maryland
My son is going to be 16 in November. I have been taking him out to some parking lots to start teaching him the basics. The key to it not being stressful is that we take our time and I have chosen times & lots with no cars. After he takes driver's training and starts driving on streets we will just take it easy.
 

fashion1sta

Member
Nov 28, 2007
1,413
0
CA
Well, when my parent's taught me how to drive, they enrolled me in driving school first only because it's a lot safer (the instructor has breaks on his side). It's the only way to really learn the correct methods because parents can forget sometimes. After, my parents took me around our neighborhood and familiar places just so that i can get used to the surroundings, speed limit, and the wheel itself. Also, my dad would let me drive to school every morning while he was in the passenger seat. With freeways- it is best to go during the less busy hours, but eventually its good to practice the busy streets/traffic. Oh, and we would drive around streets/fwys at night because it does make a huge difference.

From personal experience (having once been the 16 yr old) it was better when my parents relaxed and made me think of it as something to enjoy rather than to caution every single move and be terrified. Of course it's important to take precautions but don't make the kid nervous lol.
 

Phillyfan

O.G.
Nov 25, 2007
6,406
295
Wow - thanks for all the responses! He has had one 2-hr lesson on the road with a professional instructor. He has two more scheduled in the next two weeks. I just told him tonight that if he gets up early enough for school, he'll drive to school each morning, then we'll switch sides and I'll drive home. I'm mostly worried about the switching lanes and backing out of busy parking lots like WAWA at lunch and after school. I have a few months to worry about snow and ice!
 

Izznit

haha no.
Aug 2, 2007
3,417
3
Don't keep your hand next to the emergency brake and try and grab it at every stop. It's so irritating to them, they just yell.

ETA: My Dad did this--he would reach for the brake and pull his hand away at EVERY stop, as if he was just WAITING to pull it and expected me to crash. (This is after i had the instructor lessons, and even after i got my license).
 

candace117

Whiskey in a Teacup
O.G.
Oct 31, 2007
9,455
14
Orange County
facebook.com
IDK if your son plays any sports, but the most important thing my father taught me was this: anticipation.

It works similar to playing defense in a baseball or football game, or any game really - but since we were a baseball family we went with that.
I'm a 3rd baseman, so he said "You know how before every pitch, you imagine each possibility - you ask yourself what you will do if the ball is hit to you? or to the SS? or to the CF? or if they walk? Strike out? Strike out and the catcher drops the ball? bunt? - you have to ask yourself about every situation you could possibly encounter as you're driving, what will you do if the person in front of you does this? or this? or this? what if the person behind you does something else? or the one next to you on the freeway? you should always be asking yourself until it becomes second nature to think about how you will react if something happens."

Defensive driving skills are so important. The parking and rules and stuff - you can read a book and memorize the rules of the road, and practicing the parking will make you better. Defense...well defense always should be thought of. It's the most important part of any ballgame, and it's certainly the most important part about driving, IMO.
 

MJDaisy

OMFG.
O.G.
Dec 28, 2007
8,400
1,619
Boston
lol i don't have any tips cause i don't have children and am only 20 so i havent been driving for too long, but omg i laughed out loud when i read your thread cause i was thinking back to my mom teaching me! she was so panicky the entire time! try not to panic and don't be overbearing....it will just frustrate and fluster your son if you get flustered and then the driving will be worse. try to be calm (even if you have to pretend)...my dad was always "calm" and i was much more comfortable behind the wheel with him in the car. now i am such a good driver my mom makes me drive HER everywhere, lol it's funny to think about. good luck!!
 

Izznit

haha no.
Aug 2, 2007
3,417
3
^^oh definitely. stay CALM. or. pretend to be! If you start screaming, well... that'd be bad.
 
Dec 14, 2006
2,884
7
NYC
I'm 20 and I just got my license a couple weeks ago. My advice is to sign him up for 2-3 driving lessons and then have him practice with you. For me, it took me about 2-3 lessons to get the hang of it. It didn't come naturally to me at all. My dad tried to teach me at first, and he used to yell at me and make me cry because he just expected me to "get it". He would also get scared easily and tell me I'm going to kill us both. He's normally very nice and calm, so seeing him like this scared me into not wanting to be behind the wheel at all. My mom decided to sign me up for driving lessons because I was getting nowhere. My instructor was calm, and he knew how to teach. Once I got the hang of staying in my lane and turning, I practiced with my dad. He was like a different person. There was no more yelling since I sort of knew what I was doing.

I recommend NEVER yelling or screaming while he's driving. It's only going to scare him and probably cause him to crash. Also, try to explain everything as specific as you can, don't just expect what's common sense to you to be common sense to him. My dad used to say "use your judgement". That's great, but new drivers have very little judgement when it comes to certain things like when it's safe to change lanes. Self confidence is also very important when learning to drive. Every time he makes a good turn or does something very well, tell him that he did a great job. Tell him that you're proud of him and that he's driving very well.
 
Apr 14, 2008
30,210
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My parents didn't teach me to drive, they sent me to driving school, so that I wouldn't pick up any of their bad habits.
 

kattykay

sofa king sexy!
Jun 8, 2008
4,467
0
new jersey
ahh learning to drive, the cause of my parents gray hairs lol just curious are you from new jersey? and i did my 6 hours with an instructor that taught me VERY well and he had a brake peddle on his side. then my parent didnt really do much except take me in parking lots before i went on the road and constantly reminding me to check the blindspots
 

twin53

O.G.
Jan 24, 2007
5,320
4
my sons had drivers ed in highschool for credit and it did cost extra but was worth it. make sure they drive with you every chance they can get in all kinds of weather too.