Updated: Oct 21, 2020
Why do I stress the importance of asking questions to help teens learn how to drive?
Shouldn’t we, the parents, be able just to tell them what to do, and they do it?
Well, I probably don’t have to tell you that teens aren’t always so inclined to do as they are told.
More importantly, however, the process of asking questions actually facilitates learning and understanding better than simply providing information.
The use of questions to help students learn goes back as far as the philosopher Socrates, who developed the Socratic Questioning technique. He would ask questions to draw out the answers from his students, challenging the completeness and accuracy of their thinking.(1)
This process of asking verbal questions, “can motivate students to pay attention and learn, develop students' thinking skills, stimulate students to inquire and investigate on their own, synthesize information and experiences, create a context for exploring ideas, and enhance students' cumulative knowledge base.” (2)
When I’m coaching a teen how to drive, rather than just giving them facts about the rules of the road, I will ask questions. For example, one of the common questions I’ll use is, “What are the signs telling you?”
This question directs the student driver to look for the signs, process the information on them, and then respond accordingly.
Another example would be asking the teen driver, “How fast are you going?” rather than simply telling them, “You’re driving too fast.”
If you’re in the process of teaching your teen how to drive, remember to ask questions. You can do this even before you hit the road! Ask questions while you are still in the parking lot to help reinforce the skills before they drive on the road.
If you’re looking for more guidance on how to help your teen become a safe, responsible driver, you can check out these additional resources from Safe Driving Coach:
Download A FREE copy of the Safe Driving Coach: Parents Guide, 5 Solutions to Common Teen Driving Mistakes.
Sign up for the Parent’s Survival Guide for New Teen Drivers online course for parents who want to know how to better coach their teens how to drive!
Visit our Blog Page for more teen driving safety blog posts!
2. Kenneth E. Vogler, Asking Good Questions, 2008. http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/summer08/vol65/num09/Asking-Good-Questions.aspx