Joys of Teaching Teen to Drive

10 May

Um…the word for it is much more like…TERRIFYING!  Okay, okay….it’s getting better, but those first few times were pretty rough.

After you spend all kinds of money on a “Segment 1” class, you need to drive your teen around for a total of about 50 hours. Part of that class includes an instructor driving with your teen.  They even go on the highway.  When I first heard this, I was in awe of the instructor.  Brave man.  He does this for a living too.  But, after a couple of seconds, I realized he has an extra brake pedal in the car!!  Brave? Not so much.

The first couple of times were absolutely the roughest.  For. me.  She was fine.  I death-gripped the sides of my car in places I didn’t know had handles.  My knuckles were white and I prayed the entire time while envisioning smashing into every single mailbox down the street.  It was truly scary. For. Me.

Needless to say, I did not make the best driving teacher for my teenager.  She complained that I yelled….more on that later.  She said I got her nervous by gripping everything in sight and breathing heavily.  I explained that these were reactions that could not be helped.  I’ve never done this before.  I mean, who willingly puts their lives in someone else’s hands — someone with no experience?

I learned to drive like most people of my generation…in Driver‘s Ed. class in high school.  There were a group of us in the car and we drove around the parking lot.  I honestly don’t remember even going in the street.  Somehow…miraculously, I learned.  As far as the dreaded parallel parking — my wonderful sister taught me in the driveway.  It didn’t take her too long either.  (Funny thing is…she’s only one year older than me).  Soon — I took the driving test and passed on the first try.

Why is it so hard for me to teach my teen to drive?  It probably didn’t help that I heard that average drivers make about 20 decisions driving just one mile.  Also, there are so many variables to driving.  You have to look out for all the lunatics, texters, make-up artists, sleep-deprived, construction zones, pot holes, narrow streets, curves, unexpected sharp turns, speed limit changes, speeders, slowpokes, sudden rain or snow, etc. etc. etc.

Now – picture sitting in the passenger seat while your son or daughter drives and takes on all those variables?

Oh my.

The screaming? It really only happens when I have to say “STOP!” I mean — when someone is about to run into a truck, you have the right to yell.  End. Of. Story.  And for the record, I haven’t done it too often…

I must say that each timer, it gets better.  We even ventured on the highway the other day.  Granted — one exit, but hey. Naturally, there were construction cones and it wasn’t so simple.  She did great.

Now she drives every day and I’m confident she’ll get there.  It’s me I’m a little concerned about….

~~ Maggie


Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Family, Funny, parenting, Teaching


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 responses to “Joys of Teaching Teen to Drive

  1. Michelle Isenhoff

    May 12, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Lol. I have a neighbor going through this same thing. I’m still three years away. Good luck!

  2. Donna

    May 16, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Scary stuff, for sure. We’ve done this three times and amazingly enough, they survived our screams and panicked stomping of the imaginary break and gone on to be decent drivers. But in that moment of learning induced terror, it seems like eternity from here to there.

    • Maggie Wunderlich

      May 16, 2012 at 7:06 PM

      Wow Donna! You did this three times? My responses are getting better….a little bit. The other day, we pulled up in a parking lot and she said she’d park between two cars. Before I could think about it, I uttered, “Oh, God.” 🙂 Fun times! It’s good to hear from parents like you who’ve been there and it turned out good. Thanks!


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