What If Parents Treated Driver Education Like it Was A Sport

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Say what? Well, we all know how much time you and your teen dedicate to sports, dance, music and so on but for some reason when it comes to practicing driving, it takes the backseat (pun intended). When we let parents know that they need at least 20 hours of practice in between their professional lessons with us they usually respond with disbelief and despair – how will we ever do that with everything else going on? We know it’s not easy but here are some tips to help you make this a priority. Remember that every hour of practice you do will make your child much safer on the road.

1.) Log Sheets – we provide a paper copy that you can easily store in the glove box with a pen, or you can download an app if you prefer to log time that way. However you choose to do it, do it every time you go out, even if it’s for 10 or 15 minutes. Not only log the time, but also log what time of day you drove, what the conditions were like, the weather and traffic, and what you practiced right and left turns, parking, etc. Be sure to add nighttime hours to the mix once the time is right. Here are a few apps to check out:

 

2.) Mark times on the calendar and keep the appointments – Don’t let other things interfere with the practice hours. Remember, this is one of the most essential skills your teen learns. Give it the time it deserves. Your DrivingMBA instructor will guide you on what you should be practicing between each drive, and you will receive an email with your student’s scores and information on areas to work on as well.

3.) Become a Good Coach – Remember, we treat driving as a sport and the best way to make your teen a better driver is to make yourself a better coach. DrivingMBA includes a Coaching Class for parents that is done via Zoom, and then you receive a link to an online portion as well. This information will open your eyes to things you never thought of and really help you be the best teacher you can be.

4.) Teachable Moments – Even if your teen isn’t driving, make them put down their phones, take off their headphones and discuss driving. Be sure to set a good example by modeling good driving behavior and following the rules of the road. Studies show that over 80% of teens report that how their parents drive will have a big influence on how they drive.

5.) Practice Patience – It’s not easy, and we know it. This is a very stressful time for parents, too. Keep your cool, provide positive reinforcement along the way, and avoid overreacting to mistakes—no yelling and swearing. Expect “oops” moments and know practice won’t be perfect.

author avatar
Mary Albanese
Mary manages enrollment and marketing for DrivingMBA. Mary lost a 20-year-old stepson as a passenger in an accident in 2005. Her passion for being part of a program whose sole goal is to create safe, competent drivers comes through in everything she does for DrivingMBA.

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