How to Drive a Car | A Car is Not a Bike With 4 Wheels
A car is not a bike with 4 wheels, so a few spur-of-the-moment trips around the parking lot won’t do to teach your teen how to drive a car. As a start they need a driving school so they can learn to drive from a professional driving instructor. They also need lots of structured practice driving a car so they can gain the experience they need to survive on the road.
Every parent remembers the day their child mastered the 2-wheeler. Perhaps there were a few preliminary lessons, maybe even a few skinned knees, but on that momentous day -
You gripped the back of the seat to help them get their balance and offered a few words of encouragement like “I know you can do it!”
Then you jogged alongside until their balance was firm and let go without saying a word.
You watched and held your breath.
They began steadily, believing you were still by their side, and then suddenly realized they were on their own! For a moment - a look of panic replaced the smile. They wobbled a bit and then abruptly regained their balance and forged ahead – solo!
You beamed from the sidelines – the proud parent of the smartest kid in the world! You’re smiling even now – aren’t you? Those memories are powerful! The experience of teaching them to ride bonded you together.
Being able to ride a 2-wheeled bike is a big step for a kid. It gives them instant self-confidence, status among their friends and expands their world. Helping them get there is rewarding in a way only a parent can appreciate.
But your job wasn’t over. Once they graduated to 2-wheeled rider-status you imposed strict rules regarding where & when they could go, helmet use, no passengers and other rules with one object in mind – to keep them safe. When they went too far or removed their helmet they lost their riding privileges for a week or two, until they could prove they were responsible enough to get the bike back. Their safety was the most important thing!
Now as that child approaches sixteen – your next challenge looms. You’ve got to up your game this time because the stakes are much higher. A powerful vehicle weighing two tons or more has replaced the bike, and the Band-Aids & kisses could be replaced by a wheelchair or even a headstone.
Research done by the CDC and others indicates that Parents are the Key to keeping their teen safe. The "3 Keys to Keeping Your Teen Alive" workbook provides an excellent guide for parents to follow as they teach their teen how to drive a car. The structured driving lessons and other learn to drive material makes the learning a collaborative experience between parent and teen.