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Old 09-29-2013, 10:08 AM   #1
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Please share your best tips on teaching a teen to drive!

My son has his drivers permit and I have taken him out to drive a few times.

He starts drivers education next weekend, and I am trying to get him as comfortable as possible.

Any tips or hints you can give me to make this painless and smooth for the both of us?
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:10 AM   #2
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:18 AM   #3
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In my family, we always start with dirt roads. (Make sure there are no dangerous ditches and/or that you have the ability to haul a car out of a ditch before starting.) Only once you've mastered the ability to drive on a dirt road, first dry, then wet, are you allowed onto any sort of pavement - usually parking lots, then real deserted roads.

After mastering dirt roads and learning how cars work, the mechanics of moving a car along paved roads are really easy and kids can focus on everything else.
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:20 AM   #4
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I think he'll be fine in driver's ed as long as he's done a little driving. Can someone else take him out? Parents are often the most difficult co-driver.
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:23 AM   #5
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We started in the parking lot of the church (it's huge with turns and curves) And we drove it for hours. Then we moved into our neighborhood. Then country roads.

I let drivers ed do the first busy road and interstate trips because I thought they'd be more comfortable with a pro than "nervous mommy"
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:23 AM   #6
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Let them practice with the calmest member of the family. It takes a lot of driving time to ensure they know what they are doing and to ingrain good decision making skills.
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:32 AM   #7
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My DD didn't really like to listen to my advice, plus she thinks I drive like a grandma LOL, so my wonderful husband suffered through it. DD is really a good driver. The only thing that would scare me, is she would drive to close to the car in front of us.

DD didn't get much driving time in drivers ed., so we had to make sure she was getting the experience at home. I would start out on streets that aren't busy, and with an adult who will remain calm and won't get into an argument with your son. Good Luck, driving and dating were the 2 hardest things about parenting for me.
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:02 AM   #8
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School parking lot after school hrs is a great place to practice.

Early Sunday mornings is a good time to introduce driving on most any types of roads least amount of traffic.
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:08 AM   #9
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I have taken him driving at the junior high. It is one of the best spots in the area because it has a parking area shaped kind of like a track field with additional parking in the middle. He gets to practice going around corners and parking.

Last night, I let him do road driving. We went down our road, down to another road, and lastly on another road. All roads were empty, and he got to drive the speed limit and practice his turns, staying on his side of the road, and stopping.

No choice as to weather. It is what I call "monsoon" season here - in fact he drove during a storm last night. It is the perfect time of year for him to learn how to drive - it is going to rain and storm just about daily from now until March.

I wish we had dirt roads. Right now they would be mud though.

He is taking drivers education starting next week until mid-November. Weekend classes.

I am a "Nervous Nellie", but surprisingly enough, I am not nervous about him being behind the wheel. DH, on the other hand, is scared spitless about DS getting his license. I do not expect him to take DS out driving much at all.

Thanks for the advice - looking forward to more!!
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:20 AM   #10
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Here's a tip handed down through my family.....take the new driver to a cemetery to practice. For obvious reasons, there is a reduced chance of hitting anyone.
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:31 AM   #11
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Our driver's ed teacher recommended that we take the kids out in the country to a little traveled road for the first few times at the wheel. He said to just practice stopping and starting smoothly first, then move on to making turns.

He did not recommend parking lots as a good place to start. Even with no cars in it, there is usually a building to run into if the kid is still learning to stop and start correctly. He said too many people try to have the kids do too much on those first few drives...turning, watching for other cars, turn signals, etc. all take time to learn to coordinate.

One thing we did was ask for the planned routes they would take during their driver's training at school. They gave me a whole packet that listed each drive she would be doing with them( it even included the specific streets she would be practicing on). It gave us an idea of how to progress her through things.
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:45 AM   #12
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I just finished this 2 year odyssey with my son, and my advice would be have him drive every time you get in the car to go somewhere! All weather conditions, teenage moodiness, day, night, any type of situation/condition you can imagine.

And once they get their "real" license, suck it up, lock your fears in a box, pry your arms from around them and just let them go out alone. That was the hardest for me because I would sit in terror when my kid would stroll out of the house with his set of car keys. I admit, I drank a lot of white wine at all times of the day to calm myself down, and I'm not much of a drinker. I earned a lot of FuelPerks from the local grocery store and was only paying about a dollar a gallon for gas in those first couple of months
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Old 09-29-2013, 12:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rszdtrvl View Post
My son has his drivers permit and I have taken him out to drive a few times.

He starts drivers education next weekend, and I am trying to get him as comfortable as possible.

Any tips or hints you can give me to make this painless and smooth for the both of us?
Yes, have a driving school teach him.
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Old 09-29-2013, 12:13 PM   #14
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I was taught in a cemetery and I am teaching my DD there as well. She gets her permit in exactly 30 days.

My DN called last year to ask me to take her driving and we went on the highway and she did great. She didn't tell me I was the first one to take her out.

She wanted to learn how to do a drive-thru and parking at the mall.
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Old 09-29-2013, 12:26 PM   #15
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My daughter just got her permit and she has been driving for a few weeks. Her driving test isn't for another year. (17 here)

My son has been driving for almost two years.

Don't do just rural driving- do everything, city driving, interstates, circles, parallel parking, rush hour traffic
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