I don’t mean to brag — actually, I do — but I successfully taught my 17-year-old son how to drive a stick shift. And he managed to learn it in about an hour. Even more impressive, there wasn’t any yelling, though there was some coarse language used — mostly by my kid.
In honor of National Stick Shift Day — a holiday created by the editors here at Cars.com — my teen willingly agreed to be my guinea pig and learn how to use a manual transmission.
Here are my recommendations for helping your teen driver how to learn to stop worrying and love the stick:
1. Tell your teen to watch Cars.com’s “How to Drive a Manual Transmission” video featuring Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder, via the related link above.
2. Check to make sure your child watched the video and not all the latest TikToks.
3. Sit down with your child and watch the video together (confiscate his or her smartphone beforehand). Note: You’ll probably realize — as I did — that I may be doing some things wrong when I drive stick.
4. Jump in the manual-transmission-equipped car, head to an empty parking lot and put your now-knowledgeable teen in the driver’s seat.
5. Laugh your ass off as they kill the engine over and over again (until they finally get it).
6. You can watch all this unfold in real time by watching the video below:
Your results may vary and you may be a nicer person than I am to skip the laughing, but if you’re able to teach your child how to drive a stick shift, it’s worth the time and effort. And you may even catch them, as I did, bragging to their friends about their new skill. And they should brag: Driving a stick has always been a little badass — and it still is.
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