There’s not much scarier than putting your child behind the wheel and teaching them to drive. Okay, they’re not children when they drive, but they’re still your baby. So when that time comes, here are some phrases you should try not to say, even when your knuckles are white and you’re desperately trying to brake from the passenger seat floorboard.
“Are you trying to kill us?” - Sure, it’s a nerve-wracking experience having your teen behind the wheel, but you’re trying to build up their confidence as a driver and those comments will make them embarrassed or flustered. Stay calm, be supportive and when they do something dangerous, follow up by asking, “Tell me how you handled that situation back there.”
“You’re going to get a speeding ticket if you don’t slow down” - You may be right, but instead of being a know-it-all, correct them with a question like, “What’s the speed limit here?” This will teach them to be aware and help them make the choice to slow down.
“Turn left now” - Don’t give last minute directions while your teen is still sharpening their reflexes. Try to give advanced warning, like “We’ll be turning left on the next block.”
“Right” - Do you mean turn right? You might confuse your new driver with this, so use words like “correct,” “yep,” and “you betcha” instead. Hey, this is about being clear, not cool.