Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Driving Lessons: SO much more than a rite of passage

The past few months have been quite a ride.  Literally and figuratively.

My eldest son has his learner's permit and is learning to drive.  I *may* have used more of my Lamaze breathing the past few months than I did when he was born!  

Teaching your children to drive is one of those parental rites of passage as much as it is a rite of passage for your child.  It's a milestone in your child's development and in your parenting.  A stepping stone to adulthood for your child.  A stepping stone to letting go and fostering independence in your child for you.  Once they get their driver's licence they are one step closer to fleeing the nest and with that document, they can legally operate a motor vehicle to do so!  It can strike fear into the heart of many parents on many levels!  

It is also an opportunity for the parent to practice safe driving habits.  Your kids will model you, so don't expect them to refrain from talking on their cell phone or texting while driving or at a stop sign if they see you do it. They pay attention to you more than you think. 

Teaching your children to drive is a task that seems to often fall to the dads.  I'd be curious how many moms are the primary educator and supervisor when it comes to teaching their kids how to drive, by choice.  Let me tell you moms, DO IT!  It could transform your relationship with your child in ways you never imagined.

Given his father and I are divorced, and I have more time, responsibility for transportation to soccer and other activities, and an active interest in participating than his father or step-father, the bulk of the parental hours (40 required by the state) of supervised driving have fallen to me.  

I'll admit, at first, it was a bit nerve-wracking.  My husband (his step-father) took him out the first time because he wanted to have that role.  The first time I drove with him, I was a nervous Nellie.  He has improved tremendously (ah, the benefit of practice) and now he actually asks to drive (everywhere) instead of us having to convince him he should.  I'm sure he will be a good driver.  I pray he will always make good choices in his driving.  

Aside from the parental rite of passage that is teaching your child to drive, if you are fortunate, you might just discover an amazing, unexpected gift in the process.  A unique opportunity to capitalize on that one on one situation an enclosed vehicle provides to connect and bond with your child.  You have a captive audience, use it to your advantage!

We spend a lot of time in the car.  A LOT of time.  With soccer practices an hour away, each way, several times a week, there are many hours of having my son as a captive audience and having... a real conversation with him.  About real things.  School.  His girlfriend.  His friends.  What he wants to do when he grows up.  What makes him tick.  What pisses him off. What kind of music he listens to. Where he wants to go to college and why.  It gives me a wonderful opportunity to share with him, educate him about the realities of life now, and in the future, in such a way that he does not feel threatened, and as a result, he's opened up and shared so much more about the inner workings of his mind, his thoughts, and his feelings, than I ever thought he would or even could!  

There is something about being in a confined space without requiring eye contact, in dim light (at night), where somehow, one's guard is dropped, he feels emotionally safe enough to share with me. Something, given his personality and history of avoidance of any meaningful conversation up until this year, I never thought would happen.  Certainly not to the extent that it has.  

As a result, we've connected on a new level.  There is more trust on his part that I'm not the most evil mommy in all the land, but I might actually know something or two about life.  That I really am looking out for his best interest while also trying to teach him the skills he needs to succeed on his own.  There is a vulnerability about him that I've always known was there, but he lets me see now, and accepts my advice.  Okay, at least most of the time he at least listens to what I have to say.  I'm a fan of natural consequences.  I will give him tools and reminders, but I won't do the hard stuff for him.  Not that it stops him from trying to convince me to do so...

I've also seen him really start to blossom.  His humor is definitely an asset (thanks, Dad).  He is compassionate and sweet.  He struggles with confidence and shyness, although it's not nearly as profound as it used to be.  He's starting to not only grow those feathers, but starting to stretch them out a bit.  He's figured out (FINALLY), how I work and why.  He actually tries to accommodate my needs because he's learned he's much more likely to get what he wants if he does his part. He's becoming a fine young man. He's starting to become eager to get his license and fly.  Such a change from a year ago when he wasn't sure he even wanted to apply for his permit when he was able and was afraid of operating a vehicle!

Knock me over with a feather. 

I'm kind of sad our days of driving lessons and supervised driving are coming to a close.  He is eligible to take his license test in mid-May.  Then, he will no longer require my presence.  I fear he will reject it.  The right of passage will have passed.  He will be one step closer to independence.  I will be one step closer to my baby bird leaving the nest.  I'm not ready! 

You can bet that our last few sessions in the car together will involve discussions around the importance of connection to your family, safety, and imparting whatever other knowledge and insight I can about life's lessons I can. 

I am so grateful that we've had this opportunity together.  The one on one time has been such a gift. After all the challenges we had in his early childhood and the struggles he had with anger management and ADHD, he is turning into a really amazing, bright, mature, compassionate, and articulate young man.  

In those tears I'm sure I'll shed, will be ones of pride.  I guess I've done an okay job after all.  I hope he remembers this experience as fondly as I will.  

So when it comes time to teach your child to drive, embrace the opportunity. It's truly a gift in many ways, especially if you long to connect with your child on a new level.  

Those driving lessons are about so much more than learning to drive.  They are about learning to live, love, laugh, cry, and be a good human.  They are about parent and child and establishing, in a way, your future relationship, at least, it presents that opportunity to you.  It can be so much more than just learning how to operate a motor vehicle and the rules of the road.

Seize the opportunity!  It really does go by fast.  When he asks for the keys, I might panic.  Not because I'm worried about his driving, but because my baby is growing up!  I promise you, I'll be less worried than I was 6 months ago, and not just because of his improvement in skill.  Because I feel like we have a much better relationship now.  

*smushy heart*


  1. I am so happy to share this wonderful testimony about Dr Brave, my name is Mellisa Jefferson I am 32 years old, I live in Florida united states, I am happily married to Sowers Jefferson with three kids we got married in 2004 I am a banker but due to some certain family conditions I had to quit my job so I could have time for my family my husband works in a construction company not long ago around may 2015 my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very Confused by the way he treat me and the Kids. Later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i Done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce That he hate me and do not want to see Me again in his life, i was mad and also Frustrated do not know what to do,i was Sick for more than 4 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is Incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believed in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted Dr Brave for the return of my husband to me, he told me that my husband have Been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then he told me that he have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to Me and the kids, he casted the spell and After 27hours my husband called me and He told me that i should forgive him, he Started to apologize on phone and said That he still loves me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that Dr Brave casted on him that brought him back to me today, i and my family Are now happy again today. thank you Dr Brave for what you have done for me i would have been nothing Today if not for your great spell. i want You my friends who are passing through All this kind of love problem of getting Back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact him on this email: bravespellcaster@gmail.com , web site:http://enchantedscents.tripod.com/lovespell/ . and you will see that your problem will be solved Without any delay or effect cell number +2348072370762 Thanks for reading..

  2. Thanks for this informative post. I found these links really helpful. Do you have any information about a good Port Macquarie Driving School? My son is planning to get enrolled there as we recently shifted here.

  3. Nice Website...
    Hey JOIN now fblikesbot.com and Increase Facebook Likes your profile and websites.
    Increase Facebook Likes and check your website worth worth my websites
    FB Likes and check your website worth Website Value Calculator
    its may be very beneficial for you also really

  4. The people are very lucky to have this blog because it has better knowledge.uber driver training

  5. How i got my Husband back Thanks to Lord Alika for bringing back my Husband ,and brought great joy to my family??? My name is Kathryn Louise, My Ex-Husband dumped me two weeks ago after I accused him of seeing someone else and insulting him. I want him back in my life but he refuse to have any contact with me. I was so confuse and don't know what to do, so I reach to the internet for help and I saw a testimony of how a spell caster help people to get their ex back so I contact the spell caster and explain my problem to him and he cast a spell for me and assure me of 48hours that my ex will return to me and to my greatest surprise the third day my ex came knocking on my door and beg for forgiveness. I am so happy that my love is back again and not only that, we are about to get married. Once again thank you Lord Alika , You are truly talented and gifted. Web:http://lordalikaspelltemp8.Wix.Com/http is the only answer. He can be of great help and I will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man.Email: lordalikaspelltemple@yahoo.Co.Uk or +19287694882. Web:http://lordalikaspelltemp8.Wix.Com/http

  6. Life is good when you have your love ones around you, I am saying this because when i had issues with my lover i never seen life as a good thing but thanks to Dr. AGBAZARA of AGBAZARA TEMPLE, for helping me to cast a spell that brought my lover back to me within the space of 48hours. My husband left me for another woman after 7YEARS of marriage,but Dr.AGBAZARA help me cast a spell that brought him back to me within 48hours. I am not going to tell you more details about myself rather i will only advise those who are having issues in there relationship or marriages to contact Dr.AGBAZARA TEMPLE through these details via;
    ( agbazara@gmail.com ) or call him on Whatsapp: +2348104102662