Should parents teach their Teen To Drive

 In Driving lessons

Should parents teach their teen to drive?

Learning to drive is a significant milestone in a teenager’s life, and can be a rite of passage for many. The idea of newfound freedom is exciting, making teenagers desperate to get their licence as quickly as possible. As a result, parents may often resort to teaching their teens themselves to cut costs and speed up the process.


However, with the increasing complexity of today’s roads, it is worth asking should parents teach their teen to drive. Although it’s often favoured as a way to save money, it can have the opposite effect if they learn bad habits that would need to be corrected by a qualified driving instructor in the future. In this article, we explore the challenges that could arise and evaluate professional lessons against parent-taught ones.


It could lead to poor driving habits

The majority of parents don’t possess the necessary qualifications to teach their teens to drive effectively. Their knowledge of the road is often purely from experience, some of which will be from times when the rules of the road were different, and cars were not as technologically advanced as they are now.


It’s not only the roads that have changed, driving tests have changed significantly over the years, and parents may not be familiar with the latest requirements. Not to mention any old habits that may have been acceptable when they passed their tests could result in a test failure today.


There is limited control of the vehicle

One of the significant advantages of having a professional instructor is that they have dual-control cars. Dual-control cars have an extra set of pedals and controls on the passenger side, which enable the instructor to take control of the car if necessary. This provides an added level of safety and security for both the learner driver and other road users.


By contrast, parents do not have dual-control cars and cannot take over if their teen makes a mistake. This lack of control can be concerning, especially if the teen is inexperienced or nervous behind the wheel.


Presents a danger to the driver and other road users

As with learning any new skill, it takes time and patience to become a capable driver. When a learner first sets out on the roads, the risks and nerves will be high, making it essential to take any precautions possible. Although parents may feel like they’ve got a handle on the situation, teaching is often new to them as well, leading to an unpredictable atmosphere.


For example, a parent may become distracted or frustrated during a driving lesson, which could cause them to make mistakes or react too slowly. Alternatively, a teen driver may become overwhelmed or nervous due to the pressure, which could lead to them making dangerous errors. In either case, the consequences could be severe, potentially resulting in accidents or injuries. This is why it is often safer to leave driver education to trained professionals who are equipped to handle these challenges.


Taxing on family relationships

Teaching a teen to drive can be stressful and can place a significant strain on family relationships. Parents and teens may not always see eye-to-eye, and the parent-child dynamic can be further complicated by the added pressure of learning to drive. Tensions can run high, and arguments can easily arise, resulting in a breakdown in communication and a strained relationship.


On the other hand, professional instructors are trained to work with students of all ages and personalities. They have the patience and experience necessary to handle difficult situations and maintain a positive and supportive environment. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety and ensure that the learning experience is a positive one.


Teaching a teen to drive is a significant responsibility, and parents should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of taking on this role. While teaching a teen to drive may be a tradition in some households, it carries with it many risks. However, professional instructors are trained to provide the necessary skills, knowledge and support to help teens become safe and responsible drivers, so consider spending the additional money now rather than further down the line.


Teaching the teacher (parent) to teach their teen to drive

 Tips to assist the parent:


In my professional vocation as a driving instructor for a very considerable amount of time. I can see some benefits from a mother or father helping their child in learning to drive correctly in order to assist in learning. I will describe some important points and actionable tips to get the most out of teaching your teen to drive.



  • Communication between driving instructor, pupil and parent on what the instructor expects the parent to practice with their teen to assist in learning is essential. Talk to the instructor and get the low down on what they would require you to cover on private practice sessions.


  • Never teach in an automatic car if the learner is learning in a manual car and vice versa. This simply just creates total confusion.


  • Give clear and concise directional instruction, ask your child “how does your instructor give directions” and try to replicate this, again to avoid confusion. Give those instructions in plenty of time for your teen to digest the information. Remember they are learning and not at your standard of driving. Therefore, they need more time to complete tasks.


  • Stay calm even if you are getting frustrated with your teen because they are not doing it right. If you lose the plot, so will your teen and the learning stops immediately and errors and faults creep in as well as potential conflicts and arguments.


  • Know the area you are taking your teen for practice or ask your teen where they normally drive and do that area to make sure they are comfortable with the lesson practice area. You can move onto more difficult roads at a later date.


  • Make sure you and your child know that stop means stop. Make an agreement to stop when told to as your teen could think you are too cautious. You do not have dual controls unlike a driving instructor car, so early intervention is key to a safe learning environment, so make sure you have buzz word agreements in place.


  • Insurance, make sure insurance covers everybody and contact your insurance company to add your teen to the policy.


  • Make sure that the training car is roadworthy for your teen to get their extra practice in.


  • Finally, wait until your teen’s instructor says it is the right time to take your teen out to start some extra practice. This means they have covered all the basics in driving along with simple junction work and main roads, otherwise it could be too early and cause more problems than help.

We hope this article helps all parents in assisting their teen to drive.

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