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Teaching A Teen To Drive

My recommendation to anyone who has a teen learning to drive - don’t allow anyone who grew up on a farm to teach him or her to drive. A person who grows up on a farm learns to never tell their parent they aren’t comfortable doing something. The same can be said of having a former Master Sargent teaching a teen to drive. Either of these result in the same…

Sample Conversations:

Request - “Son, can you back a trailer” Response - “Yes sir!”

Request - “Son, can you drive a 2-ton?”

Response - “Yes sir!”

Request - “Son, can you drive a tractor?”

Response - “Yes sir!”

Request - “Son, even though you’re only 14, can you drive down to the mini-mart and fill this can with fuel?”

Response - “Yes sir!”

Request - “Son, can you drive a front-end loader?”

Response - “Yes sir!”

You get the picture - sometimes it’s not pretty.


Married to a son of a former farmer and Master Sergent.

“Teaching A Teen To Drive”

This job is BEST left to someone outside the immediate family…A neutral third party…

I would agree with that. My father was not very patient with me, even though I picked things up very quickly, having worked on cars for years before I could legally drive them. I was the first in line, though, and my siblings had it easier. Teaching a wife or girlfriend to drive can be the worst of the lot. I taught my ex wife to drive when we were dating/engaged. It was not pleasant, particularly trying to tell her she was doing something wrong, or that the other driver had reason to be offended at her behavior. She was first licensed at age 19.

I’ll have to disagree about the farm learning vs city waiting.
My daughter and my niece are near the same age and learned to drive separately.

  • Niece grew up operating ranch vehicles as soon os she could reach the controls. ATV, tractor, pickup with no doors, dirt bike, etc. The MACHINE was learned gradually and differences in machinery were appreciated for what they really were…machines.
    Come time to learn the road trucks and cars , very little was needed to add to what was already known about physically driving. Just the rules and on the road practice.

  • Daughter learned rules first while riding with us discussing those things because she was learning age. The physical driving was left to the pros, who’s car she dented twice and there are dents I can point to today on my 79 pickup ( and a broken fence ) that have her name on them.

The difference in gradual vs sudden learning was vastly evident and I vote for the gradual method .

You CAN teach your own children to drive. Made it fun with safe effective drills and practice sessions in secluded areas and use the long practice drives as bonding time. Driving must be introduced as an enjoyable but highly technical and demanding experience that kids can find rewarding as they master each skill. For example: nothing helps kids gain respect for winter driving much more than driving on lake ice at speed in safe, known areas. After an hour of that, the kids will drive boringly slow at the first hint of snow.

One difference is that dad learned to drive on a farm i.e. farm equipment and son is learning to drive in a very urban city. The largest obstacle his dad had to dodge was a cow.
Another caution. If your son/daughter tells you he/she is comfortable doing something i.e. backing up a large truck in a very crowded parking lot - believe them.

That would be uncomfortable doing something - believe them!