I am not an expert on teaching kids to drive. I don't have the nerves or patience it takes to get in the car with a teen and teach them how to actually keep from killing themself or someone else. In fact, when Cris was learning to drive and I was a mere passenger in the back seat I shouted out, "We're all going to die!" I couldn't help it. I really thought we were all gonners.
At any rate, my husband is an amazing driving teacher. He taught all our kids to drive.
I gave birth, he taught to drive. We call it even!
But, we did learn a great way to make sure our kids had plenty of experience on the road before we allowed them to take their road test to get their license.
We had them log 2000 miles with Bob or I supervising. Every time they got in the car to drive, they had to jot down the miles and then jot them again when we returned home. I generally felt comfortable sitting in the co-pilot seat after they had logged 1000 miles.
Let me tell you--two thousand miles is a lot! To get that many they will have driven back roads, expressways, during the day, the night, the rain and if you live in northern climates, even the snow. It takes commitment on the part of the parents and the teen, but it is time and gas money well spent. By the time you teen takes their road test you will feel confident in their driving ability.
Also, it takes the pressure and strain off the parents as to saying when a teen is ready. Instead of saying, "You aren't ready for the road test because..." you can just ask how many miles are logged and when you child reaches that mark, you take him. It is not subjective at all--but totally objective and everyone knows the expectations.
I know many states have minimum driving requirements, but even if they say the child needs to drive 50 hours, makes sure they also have 2000 miles. The 2000 mile goal is did not originate with us. Years ago my sister heard a judge say that he had observed that the most and worst accidents caused by teens were by inexperienced teens. He said that if they had at least 2000 miles under their belt they were exponentially better drivers than those who didn't. We took his advice to heart and I think it was some of the best advice we ever took.
I wanted to pass this advice on to those of you with pre-drivers. Please, have your children keep a log book, make them log 2000 miles, then take them for their road test. You will be glad you did.