Ask An Instructor: Helping Your Kids Learn to Drive
How do I stay patient with my child when teaching them to drive? We asked a driving instructor to give us some tips about helping your kids learn to drive.
There are tons of reasons why you should help your child with driving practice. For one, private practice can help save a heap of money when your child is learning to drive. Private practice should be completed in between formal lessons to improve chances of passing first time, and increase confidence on the roads. However, taking your child on the road can be a daunting task for a lot of parents. We caught up with Nigel Jones of I’ll Drive driving school in South Wales to answer some of your questions and offer advice about helping your kids learn to drive.
1. How do you plan routes?
You should think about what you want to achieve before you start your journey. For example, if your child needs more roundabout practice, try to choose a route with plenty of roundabouts. Remember to choose appropriate routes, depending on your driver’s ability. For the first couple of practice sessions, it’s probably best to stick to quiet roads with minimal traffic. Don’t tackle a dual carriageway for your first drive together!
2. What time of day is best?
To get the most of your practice time, try to get on the road when it’s a bit quieter. This will mean less queuing, more driving! Optimal times are at around 10 am or 7 pm on a weekday, to avoid rush hours. However, exposure to a variety of driving scenarios is key to passing their test, so once you’re both feeling more confident, feel free to shake it up.
3. What techniques do you use to remain patient?
Don’t ask too much of your child, try to remember what it was like when you were learning. If you or your child start to feel stressed, pull in where it is safe to do so and take 5 minutes to relax.
4. How do you tell them if they’ve done something wrong?
Don’t be afraid of letting your child know when they’ve done something incorrectly. Discuss their mistakes with them, explaining clearly what they did wrong and how to do it correctly.
Lots of learners find it easier to understand if you do a demonstration, so swapping seats so you can show how it should be done would be helpful. Allow your child to practice whatever they’re struggling with as much as they need without pressure. Remain encouraging and patient.
5. How often should they practice with you?
You can’t practice too much! Get as much practice in as often as possible – go out every day if you can. The DVSA recommends at least 22 hours of private practice before you go for your test, alongside 45 hours of driving lessons with a good driving instructor.
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