If you have a teenager that is getting ready to learn to drive, you might be wondering what the better option is: teaching them how to drive by yourself, or enrolling them in a driving school?
A parent-led program seems like it will be easy to do, but that isn’t always the case. Learning to drive can be very tense for the teen behind the wheel and for the parent trying to get them to listen.
Here are the top five reasons a driving school is a better option for learning to drive.
1. The instructors have experience teaching
Not everyone is a gifted teacher, and some instruction is harder to impart than others. Driving instructors have been doing this for more than one child. They have worked with different personalities, abilities, and experience levels, and they know how to make complex techniques and procedures more understandable.
Professional instructors have been trained on how to teach others to drive and have a set curriculum, so they don’t have to guess if they are covering all the material or going in the right order. This means they can do the job efficiently and thoroughly.
2. Instructors have fresh eyes
Sometimes, parents have a harder time teaching their child a skill because there is too much comfort between them, and the child doesn’t always feel the need to listen. Many new teen drivers think they already know most of the material and might not bother listening before acting.
When new drivers are working with instructors, they are not in the same comfort zone and are less likely to just ignore prompts while driving or deadlines for completing work.
3. It will get done
Many parents have the best intentions to make time for extra activities, but when life starts getting busy, they are often just too tied up or tired. This can cause tension between a teen and their parent if they are both busy and there isn’t enough time dedicated to driving lessons and completing driving hours fast enough for the teen.
Don’t add something else to your plate when you can enroll them in a driving school. This way, it will get done and you can support while not carrying the bulk of the responsibility.
4. Structured experience
Enrolling in a driving school creates opportunities for the student to have an instructor-led classroom experience as well as the necessary time behind the wheel. This creates a solid balance while ensuring that every student receives the necessary information and experience to pass their tests. The structure of the curriculum also ensures that each student can master all the basics that are required before more complex maneuvers can be mastered.
5. You still get to be an ally
Rather than trying to teach your teen to drive alone, use a driving school as a resource to help them learn the basics. As a parent, you can still be very involved with the process. Take your teen out driving for their mandatory hours. Review subjects for the driving tests. Do pop quizzes every now and then to keep the facts fresh in their minds for the driving test.
When your child is ready to drive, the right teen drivers education course can set them on a path to safe and defensive driving the rest of their lives. In some places (such as Colorado and Ohio), students have the option to take the classroom portion online. In other states (where online courses aren’t certified) a professional classroom setting with structured behind-the-wheel lessons remain the preferred course of action over parents teaching their own children.
Driving schools ensure that your child’s education behind the wheel will be done in a timelier manner and, most importantly, your new driver will still get top-notch driving lessons.
Be the best cheerleader you can and support their progress. Remember, their independence is a great thing for both of you.