How to survive teen driving lessons in 5 easy steps.

Driving home from school the other day and my 17-year-old tells me that I have my hands at the wrong position on the wheel! What?? In fact, after a few driving lessons she is often pointing out various things I’m doing that are technically “wrong.” I remember doing this exact thing with my mum. I feel officially old!

We are now at the stage where she wants to practise her driving with me in my car and I know that this is an important skill for her to have but it is very, very scary!
Firstly, this is my car! I have a cute, little, red Fiat 500 and I love it frankly! Also, it’s very, very hard to be a passenger in a car with your CHILD driving!

So, here are 5 easy (tongue in cheek) tips to help fellow parents in the passenger seat:

1. Practise your “I am very calm” face. This is vitally important. Even the most patient person should know that the out of control feeling will transfer to your face thus totally annoying your teenager. Oh and do NOT grab the sides of your seat as this may also instill teen anger.
2. Do NOT take your teen’s sibling along for the ride. The moment when your children start fighting in the car when one of them is driving is not one I recommend. Or, the sibling starts to reach forward to plug in their phone so that they can play music. Just no.
3. Try not to make the braking action. You are not driving so this is useless. In fact, your teen will possibly start saying things such as “For God sake mum!” or “Will you stop!” or worse. Mime braking will be a thing but it doesn’t actually work.
4. Do NOT change gear for them. Stalling at junctions will happen and it will terribly embarrassing for your teen. They will be flustered, especially if there is a cute boy in the car behind them. Don’t touch the gear stick or hand brake for that matter. They may explode in rage or threaten to get out of the car. I recommend your calm face at this point.
5. Finally, do NOT let your child drive home from school. Friends watching your teen will encourage “cool” behaviour which, in turn will provoke stalling or the car bouncing. This will instill a fit of hysterical laughter in your teen (especially if the cute boy is passing by the window) or that teen anger that you want to avoid. Oh and don’t wave at anyone that you may know at this point as your teen may then refuse to leave the car and swap places until EVERYONE has left the school grounds. The calm face will not be as easy at this point.

On a more serious note, she is doing really well and picking up this driving malarkey quickly.  It’s just I don’t think I am! And I’m not letting my Fiat go either!

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs


  • I have my second teen just learning to drive, it is scary indeed but so liberating for them, and for me when I don’t have to drive them everywhere! #KCACOLS

    • Yes! My daughter drove home today after a meal out and she is doing really well tbh! It’s still al little nerve wracking! Thank you for commenting. x

  • Oh gosh … hang in there! These are really great tips that I hope I remember in 12 years! Not making the braking motion or grabbing the seat .. hahahhaa! Yep…. I try not to do it while my husband drives, actually!!!!

  • On the plus side, my 17 yr old, recently passed, was yesterday designated driver on a 4 hr round trio to a family 50th, enabling me to have a few shandies.

  • I remember being in the role of your 17-year-old a few years ago and I remember how stressed I felt when my father was sitting in the passenger seat 🙂 I think it is important to remain calm and guide him/her when necessary #KCACOLS

  • Ahh! Neither my fella or I drive so I don’t have this to look forward too….hehehe I feel so lucky x

  • We haven’t crossed this bridge yet but think it will need to be on the agenda for the summer once the exams are out of the way. The braking action I do all the time when in the car with my husband so I know for sure I will do it if with my teen who has been telling me how to drive properly for years. Good luck. #TweensTeensBeyond

  • Loved this so much. My eldest learnt to drive a couple of years ago. I was soooo stressed. As you said it is so surreal being driven around by someone you gave birth to! My body language was apparently all wrong (clenched fists and gritted teeth) and I eventually gave up. My husband (Mr Super Laid Back) took over and she passed first time! thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

    • Thank you Sharon. Maybe hubbie is the way forward….actually she drove home from school today and she was awesome! It will come…I just need to be patient! x

  • Oh yes, now here’s a thing I hadn’t considered! A little way off yet but I’m braking as I’m reading your post. Now this this little scenario I’m going to find interesting! Hold on tight to your car. One thing I do know is that there is no chance my daughter will want mine!! #tweensteensbeyond

  • Hah! I love these tips and will be taking them on board when my kids get to this age. It must be a bit scary and I bet you have to bite your tongue quite a few times! Glad your daughter is doing well. Thanks for linking up with #KCACOLS, hope to see you again next time.

  • I am grateful that here in America we do not have to learn on a standard transmission. My own daughter is learning to drive now. I am the better teacher than my husband but also a nervous nelly. He will take her own the road but not before I have taken her through all the maneuvers in a parking lot and down one quiet street so she can get the feel of things.

  • I am so glad that I don’t have a car at the moment because my 18 year old is learning to drive and I know she would want me to take her out. I would be a nervous wreck and probably cause an accident myself! #KCACOLS

  • We aren’t quite here yet but these are some really useful tips! I don’t actually drive, so I’ll be forwarding this to my husband as this will be his task!

  • Haha, maybe this is why my parents never took me out in their car when I was learning to drive as a teenager, it would’ve been far too stressful for all of us! At least I have a few years yet before I have to face this with my own children. You must be proud though, sounds like she’s doing well with it. x #KCACOLS

  • Eek! My son has just turned 16 and I realise he is going to talk about driving every day until his 17th birthday. And he wants my car too! That’s not happening!

  • Hi Sophie, I will be taking your advice! once the summer is over and the roads have quietened down it will be the turn of our seventeen-year-old daughter to learn to drive. The problem is she doesn’t want to learn and I no longer want to play taxi (public transport cannot be relied on where we live)…. I promised myself that my next car will be a Fiat 500, but our Punto & Seicento keep on going!
    Thank you for linking up with the #MMBC.

    • My daughter is almost there but so lacks confidence. I suppose they get there in their own time but I’m looking forward to not being the taxi

  • […] 3. I also have fabulous chats in my car with my teenagers. From when they were tweens, we have talked about all sorts in the car! Puberty, sex, relationships, drugs…you name it. They can’t escape you see! I like this time with them. They are usually not plugged into their phones, they can’t physically get away to their rooms and we listen and sing along to 80’s tunes. I think they secretly quite like it too. It’s changing though as my daughter has recently got her drivers license. […]

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