The stress-free way to teach your kids to drive

Teaching your child to drive does not have to be a stressful activity. For more information on teaching your teenager to drive in a stress-free environment, watch this video by Timothy Smith, teen driving expert.
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The stress-free way to teach your kids to drive

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The process of learning to drive is stressful. And you're going to encounter potentially emotional or dangerous situations. So how do you make this enjoyable and instructive without it degenerating into stony silences and eye-rolling and yelling? Well the first thing is to understand that your teens want to please you. They want to do well. So be careful with your criticism. If you're going to point out something that they need to do better, make sure you also give them kudos for the things that they're doing well. Now, patience is key for both of you. It takes patience to deal with backed up traffic and all the irritations you encounter on the road. And if you as a parent keep your emotions in control, your teen is more likely to keep their emotions in control as well. Keep the conversation on driving. Their decisions, other's decisions, the roads. Resist the temptation to nag and talk about curfews and friends and clothes. Those can be emotionally loaded topics. And you want their full concentration on driving. If you have a spouse or partner, divide up your roles in the driver training process to take advantage of your respective strengths and styles. If you get easily unnerved in urban driving, have your spouse do that and you take the less stressful situations in the parking lots and suburban streets. If your reaction to mistakes is yelling and your partner's is patient support - they can bring out your teen's fears and concerns better, flip it around so that most of those hair raising mistakes are made in the earlier stages. You take the later stages. So you can combine your strengths and your different styles to help make this an instructive and an enjoyable experience together.
TEEN, Responsibilities, Driving

Teaching your child to drive does not have to be a stressful activity. For more information on teaching your teenager to drive in a stress-free environment, watch this video by Timothy Smith, teen driving expert.

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Timothy Smith

Author & Teen Driving Expert

Timothy Smith is a healthcare executive living in the Chicago area with his wife and three children.   He got involved with teen driving several years ago when a number of teenagers were killed in multiple crashes near his home, virtually all due to driver error.   His search for information to help his teens avoid car crashes yielded little of value, so he became a certified driving instructor, got trained and licensed to race cars, took defensive driving courses and ended up writing Crashproof Your Kids: Make Your Teen A Safer, Smarter Driver.  He is also Chairman of Aegis Mobility, a software company which has developed technology to manage and reduce cell phone use while driving. 

Driving, Bonding with Teens
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