BABY YOU CAN’T DRIVE MY CAR
If you have survived teething, the terrible twos, potty training, kindergarten, elementary school, high school and think nothing could be worse. Fasten your seat-belt! You are now about to put your $20K vehicle, with the pristine paint job, and a 120-horsepower engine in the hands of a sixteen-year-old who’s diaper you changed.
Teaching your teen to drive is akin to training orangutans to load the dishwasher. They might possess the dexterity and coordination for the task, but their lack of focus and reason will create a morass of broken dishes and bent silverware.
LIFE IN THE FAST LANE
This voyage will be long and arduous and someone’s going to end up crying, even though you promised yourself you wouldn’t cry. It will test your sanity and the relationship you have with your teen and quite possibly your spouse. If at all possible, move out of state until they pass their driver’s license test. In lieu of that, here are my ten tips for teaching your teen to drive.
- If you have a choice, don’t. Honey, how about you teach him how to drive and I will do the laundry for the remainder of our marriage? Seems fair.
- Try to switch-pitch them and focus on the positives of mass transportation. No car insurance, car payments, lots of time to reflect, no parking issues, gas pumps or tune-ups.
- Warn neighbors, relatives and friends to stay off the road during your lessons. No witnesses!
- Borrow the oldest automobile you can from a colleague. No sense in denting the family car.
- Start slow, very slow. Like in an empty parking lot, in the middle of the night, with no driving impediments, dogs, cats, humans or other vehicles within two hundred yards.
- Take your BP medication as prescribed.
- Remember how much you care! You’ve been through a lot together, they’ve seen you through good times and bad, they’ve been your support when you needed it most. Besides it’s paid for. You also care about your teen.
- Focus! Do not check your text messages or answer that phone call. You need to pay attention every second they are learning to drive. Your teens average attention span teeters around fourteen seconds so you need to constantly remind them to focus on their driving.
- There will probably come a time when you will need to: a) grab the wheel or b) scream. Believe me, this will probably occur at least once during your tutelage and you will need to go with your instincts if the situation warrants.
Try to be empathetic. There was a time you didn’t know how to drive. Of course, we learned on a stick shift, in the hilly streets of San Francisco, dodging tourists and cable cars, all while trying to parallel park your dad’s Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. They’ve got it easy!