Advice for parents giving driving lessons
Are you a parent giving driving lessons to a household member? If so then you may find advice from driving training experts helpful preparation.
From the 4th July 2020 driving lessons resumed for all in England, with regional variations in Scotland, Wales and local areas where COVID-19 limitations apply. However, the new regulations for driving instructors will change how they work and they may also have a backlog and waiting list for driving lessons. There may also be future disruption to normal lessons and tests depending on the infection rate in your area and track and trace isolations. So it makes sense to supervise regular driving practice alongside driving lessons to gain the experience needed to be test ready.
Planning for driving lessons
Driving instructors spend a long time training before being able to give lessons. During their training they plan a lesson structure, get to know suitable routes and areas for different skill levels. If you want to keep your driving practice stress free it makes sense for you to do the same and not just jump in the car and hope for the best. Plus, depending on how long ago you passed your driving test, the chances are learning to drive has changed since you last had a lesson. We highly recommend the DVSA Guide to Driving: The Essential Skills. It is inexpensive and will help you to research, plan and discuss together with your learner driver exactly what you will be doing before you get in the car.
Now you have planned what you will be doing in your driving lesson, choose a suitable route and take a look at it on Google maps. The diagrams in books and on apps are great, but real roads rarely look like that! Looking on Google maps will give you a different perspective and help you plan. Use a pen and paper to create your own more accurate diagrams.
Practice your instructions
Driving instructors practice what they are going to say a lot. This is one of the key areas of their training, ensuring that what they say has clarity with no room for misunderstanding. While planning practice what you might say during the lesson. While you are driving yourself start what is known as commentary driving. Speak aloud what you are doing as you drive, including your driving actions, what you can see with regards to other traffic, your evaluations and decision making processes. This will help you identify what might be important to say during the lesson.
Demonstrations in driving lessons
Before supervising your learner driver consider demonstrating first. Use your commentary driving at the same time and allow your learner to observe you drive while listening to the process. Observations do no suit everybody, depending on their learning style. However, they can be a valuable factor in developing confidence in the learner, plus it is good practice for you developing new skills in giving driving lessons as a parent.
Driving lesson timings
As a parent giving driving lessons you can choose how long you will be practising for. There is no need to fill an hour (or be restricted by an hour). We recommend small bitesize driving practice. Remember this is a new skill for you both which can be exhausting.
Driving lesson reflection
Best practice in driver training is that both the instructor and learner driver should reflect on each lesson. Confident Drivers recommends that you reflect both before and after a lesson. Our article about how your emotions influence how much you learn and the success of a driving lesson might help.
Check in to how you are both feeling. How might that affect the lesson? What would your learner driver like to achieve in this lesson? What have they done before that will help them? What do they need to know or to find out that will help them before the lesson?
After your lesson check in again to how you are both feeling. Did you achieve the goal? What went well that you would like to repeat? What would you do differently next time? The coaching section of Confident Drivers includes a reflective log that can be downloaded to help with this.
Confident Drivers Coaching wheel
Download a free copy of our coaching wheel (link below) to help you plan your supervised driving practice. The wheel helps you to identify driving strengths and weaknesses and works well alongside a reflective log. Plus it lists all the driving competencies required to pass your driving test.
Ask your driving instructor for advice
Get in touch with your driving instructor. They will be happy to offer advice to parents giving driving lessons to their students. They wish they could be giving driving lessons and they care about their students driving progress. They may be able to suggest some resources for you to use. Consider paying your driving instructor for some online coaching before lessons to help you. Once driving lessons resume book some lessons and continue with your additional private practice alongside.
Learner driver insurance
You will need learner driver or provisional insurance before you start supervised driving. As with all insurance, it is worth shopping around to get the best deal for you over the time period you need. Here are three suggestions to get you started. These contain affiliate links so will result in a small commission paid to us if you purchase through them.
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What others are saying
It's great to have a website offering fantastic techniques to assist with the challenges of driving. The website recognises the fact that learning to drive can be stressful and there are strategies to help with this. The website's name, 'CONFIDENT Drivers' is what a learner is aspiring to be, so it's very positive. The techniques also apply to building general confidence in all walks of life, so useful again. Thank you!
I was so pleased when my instructor signed me up for Confident Driver. I loved the hypnosis sessions & I recently passed first time with one fault. Recommend 100%
Confident drivers has been a really useful tool in changing my attitude to the driving test. I hadn't recognised just how much my negative thoughts about my ability rather than my actual driving ability have been holding me back and putting me off. I particularly liked the quick fix section that gives you strategies to calm down just before the test!
Stress Management Subscription For Learner Drivers
If you would like some additional help and stress management resources to help you tackle your driving test nerves or improve driving confidence then our subscriptions are created by leading industry experts especially for you.
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