As the parent of new driver, I was surprised at how different the road can look when you’re in the passenger seat with your ‘baby’ behind the wheel. Sometimes it feels as if other drivers have forgotten that we all needed to start at the beginning and make the dreaded mistakes as we learn a new skill.
The worst thing another driver can do is to tailgate or cut in on a learner driver. Obviously, their reactions will be different from the seasoned drivers on the road and it’s a worry for new drivers (and their parents) that it could cause an accident. The L plate on the back of a car should indicate to other drivers that they need to keep a safe distance and be wary of the new drivers to the roads.
So what happens if my child freaks out when something goes wrong?
This is definitely something you should discuss before driving even begins. Unfortunately, there are some drivers on the road that will make it hard for your child whilst learning to drive and cause a situation where something could go wrong. The best advice is to breathe (you too Mum’s and Dad’s) By staying calm you can think more clearly on what the best course of action is to take. If the situation calls for it. Get your child to safely pull to the side of the road until they have their emotions under control. Talk about what happened and how they can avoid situations like that in the future. If the learner driver is to upset, you take over the driving. There is nothing worse than getting behind the wheel of a car if you can’t concentrate on the road ahead.
Think of yourself as a teacher – not a parent.
Would you expect your child’s teacher to yell and scream when something went wrong in the classroom? The way you need to teach someone to drive is in a soothing and harmonious manner. This will help the driver remain calm and keep a cool head if an unexpected drama comes their way. Just like in a classroom there is only one teacher, try and keep it that way in the car. Don’t have multiple passengers instructing the learner driver on what to do. It can become confusing and creates an extremely stressful environment. Just remember that before slamming on that imaginary brake and yelling at your child we all had to start somewhere.
While teaching your child the road rules, don’t forget to help them learn about some basic car maintenance. Express Lube has some great how-to advice on how to give your car the care it needs. Take a look below at a few different blogs to help you learn the basics for car care and repair.