I am teaching my teenager how to drive – are there any benefits to having them take lessons with you?
Yes. Your willingness to be part of your child’s learning is very beneficial. But there are some distinct advantages to having them take lessons with a professional driving school. This could be in addition to the practice driving time you can provide them. There are two distinct outcomes of driving lessons. The first is much more important to the teenager and the second is much more important to the parents. They are:
- Developing the skills to pass your driving test.
- Developing the skills and habits to be a safe driver for life.
Taking professional driving lessons can help to achieve both of these goals. At Zula Driving School, we suggest a balanced approach between professional driving lessons and driving practice with parents. Read on to find out more about why this approach will help your teenager to pass the license test, and also keep them safer on the roads.
The Professional Factor
Having professional instructors makes a huge difference to your child’s developing ability to drive. Even if you do most of the practice yourself and only hire professionals for the first lesson and for one or two check-up lessons leading up to the driving test.
At Zula driving school, all of our instructors are professionally trained to teach teenagers to drive safely. This training includes up to date knowledge of the road code and regular training on how to pass this knowledge on calmly and effectively.
For some reason, teenagers often develop a “my parents know nothing” mentality. And they often feel like they can learn better from a stranger with some authority on the subject than they can from their parents. We often find that teenagers are more willing to take advice or criticism from our instructors than they are from their parents. Think back. You were probably the same!
Teaching your child to drive can be a very stressful activity. And it’s easy to snap when you feel that their safety is at risk. It’s almost impossible to keep the emotion out of it and this can cause an unesessary distraction for you and your child. We are trained to remain calm and not to yell at students whereas parents often lose their cool because you might feel powerless in the passenger seat.
It’s Time to Ask Yourself Some Hard Questions:
Parents often say to us, “but I’m a good driver, I don’t need an instructor to teach my child how to drive.” We all believe that we are good drivers. But you need to remember that you are an experienced driver and your child is not. Many of the things you do to keep yourself safe on the road you do automatically, without even thinking about them. You can quickly assess risks and avoid them without even thinking about your road code. But your teenager has not yet developed this skill.
A driving instructor is trained to articulate these behaviors to your child in ways that make them easy to understand. Before you get out on the road with your teenager, you may need to ask yourself some hard questions about your driving habits. For example, you may have certain habits that are not the best and you may be passing on outdated or misinformation. For instance:
- Do you stop too close to vehicles in front of your while at a red light?
- Do you no longer make full stops at a red light before making a right turn?
- Do you believe that shoulder checks don’t apply to you because you check your mirrors frequently?
- Do you think it’s okay to go over the speed limit about 5-10km/hr?
All these different excuses and justifications collectively can make an unsafe driver on the road. Especially if that driver is inexperienced. Let your child start by learning what it looks like to be a safe driver on the road. It’s the best way to pass the driving test. And perhaps they will make the conscious decision to continue on that path once they have passed their road test.
Summary – The Benefits of Hiring Professional Driving Instructors:
Here at Zula Driving School, we suggest a balanced approach between professional lessons and driving practice with parents. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
- Students often learn better from people with authority. We all know that teenagers often have that “my parents know nothing” mentality. A professional driving instructor can help to overcome this.
- Professional instructors have up to date knowledge of the road code and training in how to convey it effectively to their students.
- You may have developed some bad driving habits over the years and could accidently model these to your child.
- Professional instructors are trained to remain calm and keep your child safe while they learn to drive.
And, finally, teaching teenagers to drive can be really stressful! Why wouldn’t you leave it up to someone else?
Do you have a question about our driving school approach?
If you have any questions about our approach to driving lessons, or you’d like to book in for a lesson, we’d love to hear from you! Please either leave a comment at the bottom of this page, phone us, or send a private message. Our full contact details can be found on our contact us page.