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Summary
  • The best place to practice driving with your child is in an open space, such as a parking lot.
  • You should always start with the basics of driving before venturing into the more advanced driving skills.
  • Be patient and considerate when teaching to help them stay focused and relax behind the wheel.

At one point in a parent’s life, their children will be old enough to go on their own journeys and venture into this world. As parents, you must ensure they can take care of themselves, especially on the road where little-to-no consideration is given to the untaught.

Much like swimming or riding a bike, consistent practice and real-life experience are critical to honing one’s driving skills. Once your child has gotten their learner’s permit, it’s time to look for a place where you can teach them how to drive.

Where to Teach Your Child to Drive

An open space is a good place to teach your child how to drive. Wide open spaces, such as a road on private property or a parking lot with little to no traffic, are great for teaching the basics of driving. Choosing the right location can help reduce worries about crashing into other vehicles or objects.

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man teaching son how to drive
An open space is a good place to teach your child how to drive.

Parking lots are great because they simulate real-life situations. You can safely practice skills such as parallel parking or turning tight corners. They’re also spacious enough during certain hours of the day, so you need to be less wary of oncoming vehicles.

Additionally, they can develop an awareness of road signs. Some parking lots have signs for speed limits, one-way lanes, and pedestrian crossings.

Once they have the basics down, you can start teaching them on the road. For safety purposes, this should be done with your guidance as a licensed adult, and you should alert others that a student driver is behind the wheel.

A visible “student driver” sign behind the vehicle should notify other drivers, so they can give your vehicle enough space and consideration to comfortably drive around.

Tips on Teaching Your Child to Drive

Aside from finding the right location for your lessons, it’s also important to be wary of your teaching techniques. Some tips that could help include starting slow, giving specific directions, being aware, asking questions, being considerate, having another teacher, and practicing often.

Start Slow

Start slowly by showing them the seemingly mundane yet important stuff, such as proper seat distance, fixing the side mirrors, and checking the vehicle’s condition. Then proceed to teach them how to accelerate, brake, and turn.

This should give them a solid base to fall back on when the lessons get more advanced.

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Give Specific Directions

Give your child specific directions and don’t jump them with sudden requests. For example, if you want them to turn a corner, tell them at least a few blocks away instead of yelling when they arrive at the corner.

This way, they have ample time to prepare, and they learn not to make sudden changes in direction without communicating with other drivers on the road.

Be Aware

Newer drivers tend to zero in on the road ahead. It’s hard to blame them, as there is a lot of information to process just to run the car, especially if they’re learning the stick. It’s your job to keep an eye out for oncoming vehicles from the side or pedestrians on the blind side and notify your child.

For example, if you notice the driver behind is maneuvering to overtake, instruct the student driver to slow down and let them pass as soon as possible to avoid collision.

Ask Questions

Instead of being assertive and telling your child what they did wrong, you can correct them by asking questions. So if they’re overspeeding, avoid saying, “You’ll get a ticket if I wasn’t here.” Instead, ask them what the speed limit is on this particular street/highway.

Not only does this help them remain calm, but you’re also developing their awareness of traffic rules.

Be Considerate

Whenever they overshoot their turn or fail to parallel park, stay calm and remember the time you first learned how to drive and how stressful that was. This should keep their emotions in check, letting them focus on the road without being too overwhelmed or jumpy.

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Have Another Teacher

If possible, have another teacher in the backseat to maximize the skills your child develops. Not everyone is an all-around great driver, so having two teachers helps a ton. For example, if you struggle with parallel parking, it might be best to have someone else teach it.

It’s hard to explain how to do things when you struggle with that skill. Whether it’s a friend or a partner, try to find someone who complements your teaching style and excels in the skills you find hard to teach.

Practice Often

The only way for anyone to improve at anything they set out to is through repetition. Practice and read up as much as possible. This way, your child won’t have to relearn skills you already taught a few weeks back.

Consistent practice should hammer in the basics until they become habits and actual skills.

About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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