Teaching Your Child To Drive: Stress Reduction Tips For The Car

If you have a teenager who is soon approaching the driving age, then you may be concerned about your son or daughter behind the wheel of a car.  This fear is justified, because almost 300,000 teenagers are injured in car accidents each and every year.  Driving experience can greatly reduce injury risks, and a driver's education course can offer the experience and education.  Teaching some basics before the course is a good idea, and as a parent, you should do the teaching.  If your nerves are preventing you from helping your child learn, then consider some of the tips below to keep yourself calm while your child starts driving.

Play Some Classical Music

As you start teaching your teenager about the important skills that are required to safely drive a car, you should indicate that distractions should be kept to a minimum.  Research suggests that your son or daughter may become distracted if they play their favorite band or type of music on the radio.  Inform your child to keep the radio off or turned down.  This is true unless your child decides to listen to classical music in the car.  This type of music can enhance concentration, relax the body, and reduce stress.  The stress relief is optimal for your well being while you help your child learn, so consider starting your son or daughter on the right track by playing some soft classical music during learning sessions.

Soft classical music is best for your stress relief and so are sonatas that have a slow tempo.  Slow tempo music is characteristic of the Baroque period, so think about listening to composers like Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi, and Henry Purcell.  If you can, think about finding a local classical station to tune the car radio to.  This way, you and your child have the option of using the radio if you wish.

Practice Slow Breathing

One of the most important things you can do when teaching your child how to drive is to keep yelling and exasperated speech to a minimum.  This is important, because your upsetting mood can quickly transfer to your son or daughter.  When your child becomes upset, rational thought starts to diminish as adrenaline surges through the body.  Your son or daughter may then start to fight with you, or they may concentrate on your anger or disappointment, instead of focusing on the road.  This can lead to an accident and a generally unsuccessful driving lesson.

To reduce your own stress and to keep the environment calm in the car, consider using breathing techniques to control yourself.  One of the easiest breathing techniques involves deep breathing.  Breathe in deeply through your nose for four seconds and out through your mouth for another four seconds.  Do this for a minute or two or until you start to feel yourself become calm.  

Another technique involves placing your hand low on your stomach and forcing your hand and abdomen outward as you breathe in deeply through your nose for about six seconds.  Hold your breath for about five seconds and slowly release the air out through your mouth.  Do this several times.

Add Some Essential Oils

Closing your eyes is often suggested when you use slow breathing techniques, but you should not take your eyes off the road as your son or daughter is learning to drive.  You need to be free to give directions and to alert them to any dangers on the road.  You can instead enhance your stress relief and relaxation by adding essential oils to the vehicle.  

Consider placing several drops of lavender, vanilla, rose, chamomile, or eucalyptus oil on a clean handkerchief or rag.  Stuff the rag in a cup holder near the passenger side of the vehicle.  Do not add oils to an air freshener or other hanging item that can be placed on the rearview mirror though.  This may be distracting to your son or daughter.

If you want to start teaching your son or daughter a few skills before they attend a driving course, then make sure to click this link and keep yourself calm during the process.  The tips above will help you reduce your stress in the car.