Here’s some tips from our friends across the pond:
Finally reaching the age threshold to be able to learn to drive is an exciting time for many teenagers. Getting a full driving license and then being able to drive their own car is a vital next step for many teens on becoming independent and preparing for adulthood, even if they’re only planning to use the car for social trips and perhaps driving themselves to sixth form for the next couple of years. As a parent, your teen passing their driving test is also beneficial to you – once they’re able to drive themselves to places, they won’t rely on you as often for rides. Here are some of the best ways to help your teen on their way to passing their test and becoming a safe and responsible driver.
Tip #1. Offer Driving Tuition
Along with helping your teen to find a good local driving instructor or school with whom to learn to drive, you can also help them to get more practice by insuring them as a named driver on your own car. In the UK, drivers with a provisional license can be insured to drive on any car. However, when driving they will need to display red ‘L’ plates and be accompanied by a driver who is over the age of 21 and has had at least three years of experience behind the wheel. This will help your teen get used to driving in a ‘normal’ car without the safety net of dual pedals, and give them more opportunities for getting driving practice in different conditions.
Tip #2. Research Driving Resources
To finally get their pink driving license, your teen will need to have a well-rounded knowledge of the roads, coupled with plentiful driving experience and skill. Before they will be allowed to take the practical driving test, however, your teen must first pass the theory test, which is a series of questions regarding road signs and markings, road safety, and car safety. As a parent, you can help your teen with getting more practice by researching and finding resources such as toptests.co.uk, which provides free-of-charge mock driving tests. The driving theory test itself costs around £20, and there are test centres situated in most major cities and towns in the UK.
Tip #3. Offer Emotional Support
Driving test nerves are common amongst almost anybody who is learning to drive, so if your teen’s test is rapidly approaching, you can expect them to be feeling at least a little bit nervous about it. Offering positive affirmations, such as reminding your teen how well they have been doing so far and reminding them that their driving instructor must believe they are driving well enough to pass their test, can help them get over any self-doubt issues that they might be experiencing. Bear in mind that driving test nerves are a quite normal part of the process. If you are helping your teen by taking them out in your own car, then try and be extra sensitive to when they are feeling stressed, especially if the test date is looming.
Did these tips work for you and your teen? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.
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