As soon as you have children, the clock of life speeds up in a significant way. Perhaps it’s because your child’s growth marks the passing years. Or, maybe it’s just because parenthood is such a busy time. Whatever the reason, you go from playground politics to booking their first driving lessons in no time. It can be pretty stressful. After all; they’re still babies in your mind. But, you have to watch them get into a car with a complete stranger, and take control of the wheel. How can your baby be ready for something like that?
But, alas, it’s part and parcel of loosening the maternal bond. Instead of dragging them from the car as you want to do, you have to wave them off with a big grin, hoping more than anything that you chose the right instructor.
There’s no real way to get past your anxiety. Your bundle of joy is driving a car, and facing the risks that come with that. And, there’s nothing you can do about it. But, by getting involved in their learning, you can at least put your mind at ease a little. Naturally, their instructor is the best person to teach the driving part. If you try, it’ll all end in arguments. But, there are some things that lessons don’t. And, these pointers are often just as important as knowing when to check your mirrors. Let’s look at what they are.
Other drivers are the real risk
Let’s be honest; other drivers are the real risk when we’re on the roads. No matter how perfect our driving, an unpredictable car could lead to an accident. Hence, the first lesson you can pass to your kids is the fact that they should be wary of every vehicle on the road. Perhaps vehicles will be predictable once they’re driverless, but until then, it’s not worth taking risks. Make sure they know to keep an eye on what other drivers are doing at all times. It’s also worth emphasising the importance of driving at a sensible speed. That way, they can back off if the car in front does something crazy!
What to do when things go wrong
Another valuable lesson you can pass on is the knowledge of what to do when things go wrong. Cars break down sometimes. Stones shatter windshields. Tires go flat. By preparing your child for all these eventualities, you’re ensuring they don’t panic if it happens. That’s not to say, of course, that you should scare them with horror stories. Keep things casual. Do some research, and then subtly mention the numbers for auto repair that specializes in offering auto glass and windshield replacement, or even just break down services. It may also be worth teaching them to replace a tire or deal with a puncture. These small lessons could make a big difference.
The maintenance checks they can’t miss out on
You should also teach them the importance of maintenance with their vehicles. It might be worth mentioning this after letting them know what can go wrong. Scaring them a little can’t hurt if it shows them how important this is!
All drivers should do regular checks on their vehicles, but your child may not know that from the off. Hence, it’s worth giving them a checklist to follow. Some of the points worth including are:
Ensure windscreen wipers in good condition
Check engine fluid
Check spark plugs
Of course, the frequency with which they need to do each varies, but it’s essential to write them down anyway. It may also be worth writing down a timeline for each. Tire pressure, for example, should be checked at least every two weeks. By comparison, windscreen wipers could last six months to a year.
What to do if they get lost
Every driver remembers the nerves of their first solo experience. It’s difficult, and it’s an experience your children still have in front of them. As soon as they’re behind the wheel, everything could well go straight from their minds. Not to mention that they’ll suddenly have no idea where they’re going. Directions are a very different beast when you’re in a car. As such, it’s worth teaching your child about what to do if they get lost. Obviously, sat-nav makes everything much easier, but it’s not foolproof. What if the batteries die? Make sure, too, that they know how to read road signs. It’s also worth getting them an old-school map!