How stressful is it teaching your kids to drive?
The average learner needs 47 hours of formal lessons to pass their driving test, according to the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA), which means practising with parent's a great way for new drivers to save money while honing their skills. But it's not always easy getting our children to listen to us, and nowhere's this more evident than when they get behind the wheel.
With Father's Day coming up and many dads finding themselves giving up their spare time on weekends to teach their children to drive, we decided to offer some helpful advice on keeping these lessons as stress-free as possible.
- Firstly, put yourself in their shoes, we were all learners once, so remind yourself how nervous you were, what you found most challenging, and what you wished your own parents had told you.
- Find a balance between active and passive, even if it's tempting to grab the wheel at times, lessons are more effective when you give them enough distance to figure things out themselves. Working together means they'll take more information on board.
- Be patient, now certainly isn't the best time to lose your temper or yell at your child; take a deep breath and be as positive, supportive and encouraging as possible.
- Your way isn't always best, so don't overrule what they've learnt already, discuss what their instructor's taught them and brush up on your knowledge of the law and driving best practice — it's possible you've picked up some bad habits along the way.
Did you know?
- 5% of parents think teaching their kids to drive's the most stressful part of parenting.
- Half of UK drivers have supervised a learner driver on private practice.
- To supervise a learner driver, you must be over 21 and have had your licence for at least three years.
- Your learner driver must be insured in the vehicle they're driving.
- A learner driver must have L plates displayed when they're driving.
- Learner drivers are not allowed on the motorway.
Source: The AA, Passenger parents
It's also important to talk about road safety. They may have studied it and even passed the theory test, but your own experiences and advice will help bring it to life. Remind them to think through every action and put the consequences of not doing so into real terms that they can engage with.
Finally, try not to worry too much. Just because your child's a young driver, doesn't mean they're not going to be a careful one. A recent YouGov study found that new drivers under the age of 25 were the least likely to break the rules of the road or deliberately ignore speed restrictions.
Have you experienced what it's like teaching your kids to drive? We'd love to hear your stories — the good and the bad.