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HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive!

asscherisme

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HELP!! I am a single mom of 4 and terrified of teaching my daughter to drive I have a 19 year old son but he was taught by a friend of mine who also did hours with him. She enjoyed it and I am very grateful for her!! That friend moved and now my 16 year old daughter is enrolled in drivers ed and in my state needs at least 50 hours of driving experience with an adult driver, and that means me!

I am terrified of getting hurt. I am the only person my kids have and if something happens to me and I get injured or killed they have nobody. Dramatic, sure but its the truth.

My daughter knows I'm scared but I will need to do this or she will never drive. And as if that's not scary enough, another of my kids is 14 so he is around to corner for driving.

So help calm me down! Any tips? Anyone want to slap me and tell me to just get over it?

I think part of the reason I'm so scared is I was in a really bad car accident a few years ago with my son in the car. Its amazing we were OK. Car totaled but we walked away fine. I am still haunted by it (not my fault, other driver lost their licence, didn't raise my insurance or give me any points on my licence). But still spooked me.

I am scared about her driving, but I am just as scared if not more scared to teach her. Its life skill she needs and I need to get over this quick!

I also think if I wasn't a single mom and my kids had someone besides me in their lives I would not be as scared but its pretty much just me and them (and friends) but no other family to fall back on.
 

Dancing Fire

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

Teenagers have no fear!... :lol:
Don't know which was more scary teaching my teenage daughters to drive or teaching my 60 yr old dad to drive.. :wacko: Good luck!.. :bigsmile:
 

asscherisme

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

Yes, her having no fear terrifies me! She has been out with the driving instructor once and tell me what a great driver she is :cry:

Wow, you taught your 60 year old dad to drive?! That must have been fun!
 

Dancing Fire

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

asscherisme|1454219616|3984485 said:
HELP!!

So help calm me down! Any tips? Anyone want to slap me and tell me to just get over it?
Have you updated your life insurance policy?.. :devil: :bigsmile:
 

asscherisme

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

OK you are SO not helping :errrr:
 

jordyonbass

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

OK having just taught my little BIL to drive recently, I'd give the following tips:

1. Make sure insurance will cover in case of accident while she is driving. Always enquire.
2. Start off in an automatic/non-stick shift. The less going on at first the better
3. Start in an empty parking lot, then go to back streets during quiet times. No busy main roads until you are confident she is ready.
4. Keep a hand on the parking brake at first, just so you can immobilize the car in case her feet get confused.
 

asscherisme

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

jordyonbass|1454221713|3984501 said:
OK having just taught my little BIL to drive recently, I'd give the following tips:

1. Make sure insurance will cover in case of accident while she is driving. Always enquire.
2. Start off in an automatic/non-stick shift. The less going on at first the better
3. Start in an empty parking lot, then go to back streets during quiet times. No busy main roads until you are confident she is ready.
4. Keep a hand on the parking brake at first, just so you can immobilize the car in case her feet get confused.

1. done already
2. yes, the car I have is automatic (I wish I had stick, I learned on a stick but I think learning on automatic is easier so check on this one)
3. Good suggestion
4. I wish I could do this buy the parking break on my car is a foot pedal on the left by the door that only the driver can reach. My old car had the handle one in the middle of the passenger and driver.

You awesome to teach your BIL to drive! But how did you get over the fear of being in the car with him?
 

Dancing Fire

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

asscherisme|1454221395|3984497 said:
Yes, her having no fear terrifies me! She has been out with the driving instructor once and tell me what a great driver she is :cry:

Wow, you taught your 60 year old dad to drive?! That must have been fun!
Yup, he was from the old country and never did learnt to drive, then after he gotten his license he drove a total of less than 100 miles and decided to quit... :rolleyes:
 

jordyonbass

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

I think we broke the nerves by doing my third point, although he was more nervous about it at the time as he didn't want to damage my car. I guess by starting off in an area where we could get used to him receiving instructions from me and have as little traffic as possible was a good way to break those first nerves.

I would say that having the other traffic around is what makes for most of the nerves but here in Australia they have a plate that leaner drivers have to display and most people are understanding and courteous. They will happily sit under the limit behind a learner driver.
 

sonnyjane

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

Take this bit of advice - hire an independent instructor. That's what my mom did with me. It removes any family tension from the learning process - if things aren't going well it's not YOUR fault! And you don't have to worry. Seriously. I don't think I could have learned to drive if it was my mother that was teaching.
 

Dancing Fire

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

asscherisme|1454221635|3984500 said:
OK you are SO not helping :errrr:
Don't be a chicken!... :bigsmile: I'm still alive after teaching two teenagers and a 60 yr dad.. :praise:
 

asscherisme

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

sonnyjane|1454222813|3984508 said:
Take this bit of advice - hire an independent instructor. That's what my mom did with me. It removes any family tension from the learning process - if things aren't going well it's not YOUR fault! And you don't have to worry. Seriously. I don't think I could have learned to drive if it was my mother that was teaching.
Yes, I did this for the first 8 hours but beyond that they need 50 hours with a licence adult over the age of 21 and its not practical to pay for 50 hours of driving time. How many hours did your mom pay for you until you were ready to get your licence? And did your state have a certain number of hours required?
 

sonnyjane

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

asscherisme|1454224261|3984516 said:
sonnyjane|1454222813|3984508 said:
Take this bit of advice - hire an independent instructor. That's what my mom did with me. It removes any family tension from the learning process - if things aren't going well it's not YOUR fault! And you don't have to worry. Seriously. I don't think I could have learned to drive if it was my mother that was teaching.
Yes, I did this for the first 8 hours but beyond that they need 50 hours with a licence adult over the age of 21 and its not practical to pay for 50 hours of driving time. How many hours did your mom pay for you until you were ready to get your licence? And did your state have a certain number of hours required?
Ahh guess that's the rub. We did not have a required number of hours. I think I took four 3-hour lessons. You just had to pass the test, no logged hour requirement.
 

Gypsy

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

sonnyjane|1454222813|3984508 said:
Take this bit of advice - hire an independent instructor. That's what my mom did with me. It removes any family tension from the learning process - if things aren't going well it's not YOUR fault! And you don't have to worry. Seriously. I don't think I could have learned to drive if it was my mother that was teaching.

Great advice for the first 10 hours or so. Do 10 hours of instruction over 2 weeks.

After that, yes, you are just going to have to take a xanax or an elephant tranquilizer and get over it. I was in a bad accident several years ago. It took me a long time to be comfortable driving at night. And I'm still not comfortable in any type of "weather" at night.

For the first few years I did actually have to take ativan to drive at night. I was phobic. So I suggest you talk to your doctor about something like xanax or ativan that acts quickly (in a 1/2 hour or less) and wears off in a few hours. You will probably need it to take the edge off.

Frankly your anxiety could screw her chances of being a good driver up. I mean that. If you are overly anxious you could screw things up. So get the help you need, so you can be there for her.
 

asscherisme

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

Gypsy|1454224588|3984519 said:
sonnyjane|1454222813|3984508 said:
Take this bit of advice - hire an independent instructor. That's what my mom did with me. It removes any family tension from the learning process - if things aren't going well it's not YOUR fault! And you don't have to worry. Seriously. I don't think I could have learned to drive if it was my mother that was teaching.

Great advice for the first 10 hours or so. Do 10 hours of instruction over 2 weeks.

After that, yes, you are just going to have to take a xanax or an elephant tranquilizer and get over it. I was in a bad accident several years ago. It took me a long time to be comfortable driving at night. And I'm still not comfortable in any type of "weather" at night.

For the first few years I did actually have to take ativan to drive at night. I was phobic. So I suggest you talk to your doctor about something like xanax or ativan that acts quickly (in a 1/2 hour or less) and wears off in a few hours. You will probably need it to take the edge off.

Frankly your anxiety could screw her chances of being a good driver up. I mean that. If you are overly anxious you could screw things up. So get the help you need, so you can be there for her.
Thanks for the comment. I'm not comfortable taking medication but I do agree about not showing my nervousness to my daughter.

I think that sonnyjane had a good jumping off point. I just looked at the drivers ed website for the school my daughter is going to, and there are 6 hours included with the course she is taking. But for a few I can purchase another package of 8 more hours after. That way by the time I get in the car with her she will already have 14 hours on the road. And then I think I just need to such it up and put on my best brave face and do it.
 

missy

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

sonnyjane|1454222813|3984508 said:
Take this bit of advice - hire an independent instructor. That's what my mom did with me. It removes any family tension from the learning process - if things aren't going well it's not YOUR fault! And you don't have to worry. Seriously. I don't think I could have learned to drive if it was my mother that was teaching.
Great advice and the road (haha road) you should take IMO. Seriously my dad taught me to drive and it was a nightmare. Absolute nightmare with him yelling at me to pull over pull over and causing me to drive right into someone's car door as they were opening it. Suffice it to say I dealt with a driving instructor after that.

Listen to your gut and it is telling you don't teach your teen to drive but hire a professional to take on that task.
 

Mayk

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

Well I'm no help. I will not ride with my DD she scares me. I bought 24 hours of driving instruction and my DH worked with her she's a dreadful (ADHD) driver. She is only allowed to drive to school and back on the back roads.
 

packrat

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

We're going to take London out this spring/summer and work w/her a little bit. She's 12, but I think giving her some experience, even just sitting behind the wheel, learning to put it into drive/reverse/park etc, learning how to put her foot on the pedals, adjust seats, windows and things, will be a good start toward confidence behind the wheel. Heck, even learning how to turn the vehicle *on*. My first time driving was the night before drivers ed. A few miles, just around the section (country living). Then the next day I had to drive into town, like 8 miles. My best friend had been driving for a couple years w/her mom so she had no issues w/it and I was a nervous wreck.

Agreed to start out in a parking lot. if you're in the country and you have a pasture or something (obviously not after rain), gravels, big farm drives/farm lots, all those are good places.

It is easier if someone else does it-we all have more patience with other people's kids than w/our own.
 

MissGotRocks

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

It is very nerve wracking - I remember well! There is something about the role reversal too - you have been the leader of them for all of these years and yet putting them behind the wheel of a car with you as passenger suddenly makes them the leader!

Just slow and steady - that's all I can say. My daughter had a part time job after school at a daycare where the school bus dropped her off. I went to pick her up and let her drive home. Eventually, my fear lessened and my confidence in her ability grew. My son always made me feel like we were going to leave the side of the road as I felt he drove too close to the edge. My husband probably took him out more than me.

You'll do better than you think and try to remember if you present as afraid or without any confidence in them, they will feed off of that. As long as they are not speeding, they should be fine. Good luck!
 

telephone89

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

I would have your son drive with her, so long as he has a full license. I also saw someone suggested hiring an independent, and that also sounds like a god idea.

TBH, it doesn't sound like a good idea for you to drive with her. It's possible you will pass along your fear and insecurity to her, or even cause an accident with it.

eta - I saw your son wouldn't be old enough for the requirement. I would go with the independent instructor, or another friend/family member.
 

december-fire

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

For your child:

As mentioned
- Professional driver's education
- Plus lots of practice so that things become more automatic rather than having to think before reacting
- Start in parking lots, as was suggested, then quiet streets before venturing onto busier roads or highways

Also very important in my opinion:

- If you have snow where you live, go to an empty parking lot, have your child drive/brake/turn in the snow to see how the car handles, and teach your child to put the car into a spin deliberately and then recover.

- Your child must learn to be alert to surroundings and remain calm and in control; if she is waiting for on-coming traffic to go by before turning across their lane, people behind her might get impatient and honk their horns. She must know that she is to ignore them and only turn when she believes its safe. If she allows herself to feel pressured and turns before she thinks its safe, only she and the oncoming traffic will suffer the consequences, not the fool behind her honking the horn. (This is a good life rule in all situations.)

For you:

Your fear is understandable given your car accident. However, your fear is likely to have a negative impact on your driving and your child's driving. If you are afraid or anxious, others around you can probably sense your heighten level of fear. That's a terrible emotion to experience when one is behind the wheel of a vehicle.

If you must provide some extra driving time for your child, please think about how you can overcome your fear. Would more time behind the wheel, in parking lots or on quiet roads, help you regain some level of confidence or comfort?

I realize it may be very difficult for you to overcome your fear, but I think a parent can sometimes slay even bigger dragons if its for the sake of their child. What you might feel unable to do for yourself, you might be able to do for your child.

Good luck.

For both my children, I had them take driving lessons in the snow and regularly took them out for extra practice. And, yes, they started off in deserted snowy parking lots so they could learn about the effects of snow on braking, turning, skids, etc.
 

asscherisme

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Re: HELP! How to get over FEAR of teaching my teen to drive

Thanks everyone, great advice! I am calling tomorrow to buy an additional 8 hour package beyond the 6 provided in drivers ed. I am going to purchase 2 extra 8 hour packages total so she will have a total of 22 hours of professional driving instruction. I'll then take her out. If I can do it without showing fear and be calm, great we can get in the rest of her hours. But if I can't, I'll just pay for more professional driving instructor time. Then I'll make sure I think she is competent before I take her for licence.

I think paying for professional driving instruction is an amazing idea and you all are right, I need to just suck it up and do my best to not show fear and stay calm. I am generally a very calm parent and not a yeller so if I can take that into the car with her that would be great.

Having my son help her isn't an option because he is 19 and you need to be a licensed driver over 21 for the hours required for licence.

I am definitely going to use the paid instructor for highway experience (not immediately though) and night hours!!

I feel so much better realizing I can hire someone to get her hours and by the time I get in the car with her, she will have learned some skills by someone who does this for a living. Obviously I will need to get in the car with her before she gets her licence but having her get experience first will really help!
 
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