Parents have the opportunity to help teach their teens how to drive during the permit process. Varsity Driving Academy will help teach the basics as well as defensive driving, but there is only so much driving time we can give to students. It is up to the parents to take care of other times so that teens get an ample amount of practice before their final test. Commentary driving is a form of driving that can help. In fact, commentary driving offers the best tips for parents of new drivers.
Use the idea of commentary driving to get the best tips for parents of new drivers as your teen works to get their driver’s license.
Tips for Parents of New Drivers | What is Commentary Driving?
Most parents feel that the best way to teach a teen how to drive is to comment on their driving as they drive. However, this method can be frustrating for teens and cause them to not fully pay attention to the road. Instead, switch the commentary. Commentary driving is a method of driving wherein the teen driver speaks out loud what they are doing as they are doing it and why. This helps teens understand how to drive on a whole new level.
Tips for Parents of New Drivers | How to Practice Commentary Driving
It is important to know how to practice commentary driving for both the teen and the parent. The idea is simple, the teen driver needs to speak out loud what they are about to do and why they are about to do it. Every little thing should be commentated, for example, before making a turn, the teen should say something like, “I am turning on the left blinker to let other drivers know I am about to turn left.” This can also be extended to observations made while driving. Things should be said like, “There is a stop sign ahead.” or “The driver ahead is swerving more than usual, will move to a safer distance.” Having your teen explain everything they see will help you understand where they need to learn and where they are progressing.
Tips for Parents of New Drivers | Conversation Commentary
It is important that you allow your teen to make observations on their own. However, if an important observation is missed, write it down and have a conversation about it afterward. This gives you as a parent to give your opinion in a safe place after the car has already been placed into park. If writing it down is too distracting for the teen, make a mental note of it and come back to it later. The idea is that the teen has all of the opportunity in the world to make the observation and then isn’t flustered by talking about it at the moment.
Tips for Parents of New Drivers | Final Stages
As your teen advances in their lessons, you can begin introducing distractions to the lessons. We all deal with distractions, like conversations or music. Safely introduce these distractions to your lessons so that your teen can adjust to the different style of driving. Have a conversation about sports, or school, or just make your own comments about traffic or your surroundings. This level should not be done unless the teen is showing signs of advanced learning. Meaning, don’t give the wheel to your teen for the first time and then start distracting them. Allow them time to learn how to drive before offering any challenges to them.