Forming a relationship between a stepchild and stepparent can be challenging, especially when you’re trying to teach your teen to drive. However, finding ways to promote positivity and fun through this learning experience can help strengthen your bond and build an important relationship together.
Be a Good Role Model
A stepparent can set the proper example for their teen driver by being a good role model. This means using the same rules and guidelines you wish to instill upon them. Telling them to drive the speed limit, while you’re exceeding it by going twenty over will only build animosity and confusion. Someone who obeys the rules of the road and is courteous to others, even when the situation doesn’t call for it, will earn their respect. An exemplary driver obeys all the rules of the road, including not speeding or driving under the influence.
It is important for teen drivers to know that in many tough-on-crime states like Florida, according to Orange County Florida DUI lawyers, charges for drinking and driving, or for teens drinking at all, can be strict and rigorous. Because teens are still developing mentally, they are more susceptible to bad decisions. It is important to help them make the connections between bad driving choices and the legal or health consequences of their behavior.
Sharpen Their Skills
You can sharpen your stepchild’s driving skills by setting aside time for them. The only way your teen driver is going to get better is with practice. Handling different situations on the road takes patience and continuity, so you can plan your week by offering up opportunities for them to practice. This could include letting them drive to the grocery store, on the way to visit relatives or a quick trip to their friend’s home.
Keeping your word and scheduling time to allow them to practice will mean the world to them and can build their self-confidence. During this time together, you have the opportunity to talk to them about their day, what’s going on in their life and other open discussions you wish to have with them.
Teaching your teen to drive can include expressway driving. Ensuring your teen can handle all sorts of situations is important to their safety, and you want to give them a variety of opportunities to hone their driving skills. A short road trip together can strengthen your bond and teach them how to handle the car on the highway. Let them pick a destination and plan dinner and an activity or two such as a baseball game or movie together.
How you teach your stepchild to drive will set the tone for the relationship. Building confidence and a strong relationship should be your goal, and you’re not going to do that by yelling and reprimanding them. It’s almost certain that your teen will make some mistakes, but you need to correct them with a gentle and positive method of speaking. You also need to set some house rules ahead of time for when they get their driver’s license, and how breaking them will have major consequences. Making sure they understand can pave the road for a solid relationship, and allows them to choose their own path. They can either abide by the rules or lose the many privileges that driving can afford them.
Learning to drive is an important step into adulthood for a teen, and it comes with many responsibilities. In addition to instructing them in how they can be a safe driver, you can forge a solid bond with your stepchild by making it a fun and interesting learning experience.
Savannah Bobo is a blogger and freelance author who writes on driving safety skills to instill in teens early on, including teaching them to understand the gravity of drinking and driving consequences. Orange County Florida DUI lawyers Katz & Phillips are prepared to argue on the behalf of young or inexperienced drivers in DUI arrest cases, and protect their rights regardless of the arrest circumstances.