How did you get here, hey? It only seems like last week that you were learning to drive a pram around. And now your little baby is asking for a whole new set of wheels. Teaching your own child to drive can be daunting. And honestly, for your sanity and theirs, we wouldn’t recommend it until they have several professional driving lessons under their seat belt.  But your help can be invaluable when it comes to preparing your child to sit their driving test. So, what can you do to help?

Five Tips for Parents Who Want to Help Their Kids Learn to Drive

Get to know the theory test

As an experienced driver, you should already know the rules of the road. But The Highway Code changes from time to time. In fact, it was last updated in January 2022. And unless you are sure that you’re entirely up to date, it’s important that you refresh your knowledge before you try to pass it on. That done, you’re ready to help your child prepare for their theory test.

Made up of two sections – multiple-choice and hazard perception – the theory test is considerably more difficult to pass than when you likely took it… If you were required to take it at all. So, help your child revise. Quiz them. And ask them to identify hazards while you’re driving.

Don’t take them out on the road until their instructor says that they’re ready

Learning to drive is stressful. Letting someone else drive your car is stressful. Put the two together, and that stress could easily turn into trauma. If you want the experience to be the best it can be for both of you, talk to your teen’s professional instructor. Ask them to tell you when they think lessons with you will be most effective.

Make sure you have the right insurance

Before you let anyone drive your car, you need to be sure that you have the necessary insurance cover. If your child has their own car, they need a full insurance policy. Even if you paid for the vehicle. If you’re using your car for the lesson, you’ll need a fully comprehensive vehicle insurance policy, with third-party cover. Check before you begin.

Plan your route

Even if your kid is a confident learner driver, if you’re taking them out on the road, plan a quiet route. Your car will be different to their instructor’s vehicle. So, give your son or daughter time to familiarise themselves with your vehicle. Then, direct them onto a route that has quieter roads, where they can focus on the simple act of driving. Save manoeuvres and difficult driving scenarios for their professional lessons. Or until you’re both more assured of their driving ability.

Be patient, stay calm

There is nothing less conducive to a successful driving lesson than impatience. If you snap, show frustration, or lose your temper, you won’t just bring that lesson to an end. You’ll damage your teenager’s confidence behind the wheel. If you are not absolutely positive that you’ll be able to remain calm – or at least make a good show out of doing so – it’s best to leave driving lessons to other people.

Taking your kid out for driving practise can be really beneficial. It can help reduce the number of paid-for lessons they need. And it can significantly improve their confidence. But only if you do it right. So, talk to their driving instructor, take things slowly, and stay calm!

Are you or your child looking for driving lessons in the West Midlands? Get in touch with DGN.