- Family and Parenting
5 Things Every Parent Should Teach Their Children About Cars
There will come a time your child will want to sit behind the wheel of a car and you need to know that you have prepared them the best way you could. It starts from the time they first start noticing cars and traffic and it ends, well, never. For the rest of your life, you will be telling them how to do this and that and they will be annoyed.
But all kidding aside, there are some things that you need to teach your children about cars, so let's begin.
First and foremost, your children need to know the laws surrounding driving and traffic in general. This begins much earlier than you would think. For example, when they are three or four and you decide to jaywalk because it is easier, they are learning it is okay to jaywalk. It isn't. When your children are around, behave according to the law and pepper important stuff throughout the conversation.
Point out when someone is speeding, show them if someone is double-parked, tell them when a cyclist is doing something against the law. Also, keep in mind to tie this in with lessons about safety. Make them understand that laws are there to protect people.
Like I mentioned, all talk about the law should include the talk about safety. Your children need to understand from the earliest age that doing stupid things in traffic can result in all kinds of injuries or worse. I am not saying that you should show them gruesome graphic images or anything like that, but make sure they understand their decisions have very real consequences. Seat belts are a must and there is absolutely no drunk driving.
Sooner or later, your children will own a car of their own and they need to know a thing or two about recognizing sounds that shouldn't be audible. Sometimes a car will do something silly and it will seem like a warning, but it is not. Other times, it will give subtle indications that something might be wrong. For example, a slight screech of brake pads that are worn out or the whole bad starter or bad battery thing. Every experienced driver knows about these and your children will do well to get at least a basic lesson.
Depending on where you live and what kind of a family car history you grew up with, you will either drive an automatic or a manual. It doesn't matter if the last manual gear shift car in your family was back in the 1930s, your child has to learn about manual. It is really not that difficult. There are parts of the world where people don't even consider driving an automatic and yet, everyone can handle the manual. Your child can too. Teach them how to do it.
The vast majority of us are not exactly mechanics and we find a way to go about our driving lives without knowing much about even the most basic maintenance. And this is perfectly fine 95% of the time. It is those 5% that can cause a bunch of problems and you do not want the same happening to your child. So, either you already know basic maintenance or you learn in order to teach. You teach them how to do a basic inspection of the car and how to notice problems. You tell them where they can buy affordable car parts and you teach them how to do the basic repairs. If you do not know how to do this, this is the perfect opportunity for you to learn too.