When I was a teen, my high school offered driver’s ed as a four-week class during the summer. We sat in an air-conditioned classroom during the morning and watched driver’s training videos. Then, in the afternoon, we went out to the parking lot to practice driving a car. Later, we made our way onto the roads. The instructor had a car equipped with pedals on his side to override any mistakes we made when braking or accelerating. However, now, thanks to budget cuts, many schools no longer offer driver’s training. Instead, parents must choose between teaching their kids to drive or paying for a driving school. For our family, there were several reasons why I decided to teach my teen to drive.
Why I Decided to Teach My Teen to Drive
Our family picked this option for a few reasons.
Driving School Is Expensive!
In our area, driving school is expensive! The cheapest package includes two hours of driver’s ed and two one-hour driving sessions for $189. Their mid-level package includes 10 one-hour driving sessions for $699. Their elite package includes 30 one-hour driving sessions for $1799.
If I picked the cheapest session, I would still have to go out with my teen for many hours of driving, so why not just do it myself?
We ended up buying a home-based driver’s ed program. We watch that for a few lessons. Then we hit the road. So far, our teen has about 10 hours of driving under his belt.
I Can Keep My Cool
Another reason why I decided to teach my teen to drive is that I can keep my cool. If he does something erratic like accidentally pushing the gas instead of the brake (it’s happened!) I can quickly and calmly tell him to hit the other pedal.
If you don’t think you can keep your cool with your teen, I don’t recommend teaching them to drive. My mom went out driving with me just twice before I got my license. Once, I was learning to drive stick shift, and I stalled the car in an intersection when I tried to go from a stop. My mom panicked and started saying, “Go, go! We’re going to get hit!” Let me tell you, that did not help me get the car moving.
We Have a Vehicle to Use
We have two vehicles, one we bought 17 years ago when our teen was just an infant. Of course, I don’t want my son to have an accident, but if he does have a fender bender, this vehicle can take it. If I had a brand-new car, I might not decide to teach my teen to drive.
Should you teach your teen to drive? As you can see, that depends on many factors. For our family, I decided to teach my teen to drive because we could save money, I stay calm, and we have a vehicle he can use. However, other families may have to consider other factors and make the decision that is right for their families.
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in Arizona where she dislikes the summer heat but loves the natural beauty of the area.