How to make your kids better drivers? Start them early

By DPA | 25 June 2019


BERLIN: Nobody wants their child to be the one who takes 17 attempts to pass their driving test. And the good news is, there are things you can do right from the start to stop that from happening.

Introducing children to walkers and bicycles at an early age, for example, helps promote motor skills and, in turn, boost the little ones' potential to become better drivers.

That's according to the German magazine "Baby and Family," which also says that most children develop an interest in vehicles as soon as they can walk.

To train their balance and co-ordination, you can start with a walker. Babies as young as 10 months can use a walker, even if it's just to shake their feet and start training their leg muscles.

You can also try a scooter walker, which enables the child to move their legs from a sitting position.

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The first time a child rides a bike is always a moment for the family album. But starting off on two wheels can be a little hairy, so it's best to practise in carefully selected places to begin with, and to always stay close enough to the child that you can intervene at any time.

You don't need to be overprotective, though - even when it comes to hitting the actual road. Children as young as 10 are able to assess traffic situations correctly, according to Sabine Huck of the General German Bicycle Club.

Still, a bit of off-road practice on the bike can't hurt - such as building an obstacle course out of empty plastic bottles that the child can slalom through on their bike.

You can also try exercises to help children develop their sense of speed and braking distance.

For example, lay two ropes on the ground and encourage the child to brake at the first rope and come to a complete stop before the second rope.

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