I had the opportunity this past weekend to give my oldest daughter her first driving lesson. It was the day before her birthday and I took her to breakfast. Afterwards, I drove to the local mall (which would be closed for several hours), pulled into the parking lot, got out of the car and told her to get into the drivers seat. She was so surprised and excited.
For the next 30 minutes, she practiced pulling in and out of parking spaces, going in circles, braking and more braking. Still not sure if I should be excited for her…or terrified for me. There are so many more cars on the roads these days. People travel and commute long distances, technolgy, distractions, what is a parent to do… I think it is very different out on the road today than when I was 16.
I know one thing that I am going to do is download Oprah’s No Phone Zone Pledge.
I am also going to write up my own contract for her to sign. Actually, I am going to let her draft it up, and then attach Oprah’s to it as well. One thing I have found in my work with teens, is if you let them create it, it will probably be much stricter and harder than if we had done it.
We have a little while. She still needs to study for the test and then go in to get her permit. This gives me a bit of time to prepare her father… I don’t ever remember being able to get a permit at 15 when I was younger either. Is it just that I can’t remember that far back or have the rules changed so much. I definitely know that our distractions have increased. As a society, we have a hard time staying in the present moment. We have a hard time with out any “input”. Driving can feel boring, but if you are paying attention it shouldn’t be. I am really excited for her. My little girl is growing up!