The other day one of my pupils rather sheepishly asked me if it was OK if her dad came along on her next lesson as he wanted to see how she was doing. When I said yes of course she looked a little surprised. I explained that It's an unusual request but one that I was happy to accommodate especially when the pupil is having private practice between lessons. It's very common for a parent to (wrongly) assume that learning to drive is still the same as it was when they took their test back in the 1970's or 80's and teach their offspring the same way, including all the bad habits that they may have picked up through the years. Apart from the current driving test being longer, a lot more involved and certainly harder than the 'old' test, we as instructors are also looking to teach our pupils more than just vehicle control but also to instil the wider aspects of safe driving such as attitude to other road users within our lessons. In seeing and experiencing a lesson first hand it enables the parent to work 'with' and not against the instructor by offering their kids confusing or conflicting advice. There is also the added benefit that parents who sit in on a professional lesson can judge for themselves the quality of the tuition being provided which is important when you consider the investment of time, effort and of course, money. Next lesson dad did indeed come along and both he and my pupil enjoyed the experience with dad saying he would try to carry on the same level of tuition when he took his daughter out practising. Result!
These are the musings of Kevin Jewison ADI owner of this driving school and website.