Stage 3: Role Reversal
Location: Any roads except highways.
Length of Lesson: As long as you can handle it.
Up until now, all of your driving lessons have centered around you observing and coaching your teen as they drive. There may have been some screaming, a few meltdowns, some gasping and groaning, a foot-slamming-on-an-imaginary-brake and some not-too-subtle eye-rolling. My guess is that much of this “behavior” came from your side of the car.
Even if you’ve been especially good about controlling your urges to scream, “Stop! What on earth are you doing?!”, I’m pretty sure you’ve done or said some things that make your child cringe.
Role reversal allows your teen to give you a little taste of your own medicine. Simply switch places and allow your teen to critique your driving habits. Besides letting your kid let off a little steam, there are some other benefits to this exercise.
Improves your communication
When your teen is allowed to do the critiquing, they may make fun of the way you speak to them. This should shed some light on things you can improve in the communication department.
Proves that your teen has learned something
Once the novelty of making fun of you wears off (which may take awhile), they may nitpick every little thing you do. While this may seem annoying, it’s actually a great thing. It shows that they’ve learned what you’ve been teaching them about defensive driving. If your teen didn’t bark at you to check your rear view mirror when making a turn or to be within 18 inches of the curb when parking, you should be worried.
Highlights your poor driving habits
Your teen’s loving “analysis” of your driving may also make you aware of some of your bad driving habits. Hey, it’s never too late to improve!
Continue on to Expanding Their Search Distance, Part 1