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They Can Ride, but Can They Drive?

When is it appropriate to begin teaching your children to drive? Moments like teaching your child to ride a bicycle are priceless and unforgettable for fathers. Fathers are always looking for more opportunities to bond with their children. Driving a car is a great opportunity. But the question is, when will that moment arrive? Is it when they reach the legal age? Is it when they reach a certain level of self-awareness? or when they are physically able to handle the wheel?

There is no right or wrong answer, however, based on parents' experience, it is indeed a combination of several factors. Just like with teaching them to ride a bicycle, several criteria must be met, including physical fitness (as measured by height and motor skills), awareness of safety, knowledge of riding rules, and, most importantly, the child's willingness to learn.

When a child is curious enough to try something that is not safe for them, some parents try to hide it away (which can only happen for a short period of time), while others teach their child about it so they understand the rules and dangers.

So, how will you know when it is time to teach them to drive? Well, here are some indications that will guide your decision:

  • When they ask to start the engine or to support in changing the gears

  • When they start playing car racing games and believe they can drive a real one (which you don't want them to do behind your back)

  • When their height reaches the point to sit comfortably in a car and access the pedals

  • When their friends start to drive a car

It is also important to consider the below questions before handing the car to your teenager:

  • Has my teenager had enough practice so we are confident with the ability to handle different situations?

  • Does my teenager wear seatbelt and ask his friends to do so?

  • Does my teenager keeps the cell phone away and avoid using it while driving?

  • Does my teenager check all directions when reached an intersection before crossing it?

  • Does my teenager drive responsibly and follow the rules?

It is an important milestone that you have to be prepared for, similar to when you have decided to teach them swimming, or riding a bicycle or jumping,....

You won't be able to keep them away, you need to teach them. And guess who is the best teacher?

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