My just 3yo son is loving playing with his tractor. When on the tractor itself has a light on the driver seat that cycles colors to let us know that it is on (which also probably drains the battery). So when we see it on we remind our son to shut it off - easy. For the controller you have the two knobs on the top. If you push the right one forward the right tires move forward, if you pull it back the right tires move backward. Ditto on the left. To move forward push both forward. To move backward push both backward. To turn only push one or the other in whatever direction you want to go (or push them in opposite directions). There are 4 other buttons on the top of the controller which are only for sound effects on the controller (the tractor doesn't make any sound-effects). There are an additional 2 buttons on the front of the controller and these both make the bucket go up/down. The bucket moves in a pattern and you don't have individual control for the bucket (so it lifts up, changes tilt, drops down, changes tilt and repeats). If you stop pressing the button during the pattern when you press it again it just resumes where it left off (so no control to put it down immediately or up immediately). However this is find since my 3yo has enough excitement in that things move based on his commands! Perhaps an older child might be frustrated that you can't lift back up the bucket before it finishes dropping down, etc.A draw-back of the toy (not its fault though) is that my 1 yo is PETRIFIED of it. We are hoping that with time she will become acclimated to it.