When we were car shopping this summer, The Husband mentioned more than once that we would have to consider The Girl driving whatever car we chose. The thought terrified me. She’s so young, clearly I don’t have to worry about her driving. But the reality is, with a 3 year lease of a 5 year loan, this car may very well be the one we hand our first-born the keys to sooner than I wish.
Immediately, as I often do, I thought back to my own teenage years to reflect on what my mom did with me. I consider myself a pretty good driver so how did she ensure that would be? The answer is, she didn’t. I don’t mean she didn’t pay any attention to my driving, but the reality was she had no choice. Just after I got my permit, my mother fell and broke her arm and was in need of a chauffeur for the next 8 weeks. So, I got a crash course in driving every day all day whether she liked it or not. She had not the luxury of caution or time, she had to let me drive and hope for the best.
The result, I think is that I was a confident driver early on. The key, I think, is that I was never overconfident. With my ailing mother as my first permanent passenger, I had to learn caution first.
This is all I want my daughter, and my sons, to know. I fear though that there are so many more reasons for them not to on the roads today. The cars are bigger, including the one they will drive. The distractions are everywhere, both in the car and out. From in-dash GPS screens to dinging text messages on their cell phones, it seems today’s young drivers’ attentions are shifted everywhere but the road.
I know we’re coming to the years where what I say doesn’t hold as much weight around here. I know if my kids hear advice from other adults, they are likely to listen more than if it comes from their old nagging mom. So, I am jumping at the chance to attend Toyota’s FREE #TeenDrive365 event in a few weeks. Toyota is offering a whole series of these safe driver simulation events for parents and teens at dealerships throughout New York and New Jersey.
My girl will hear about and car care, techniques for road safety and she’ll even get to try some driving simulation. It looks to be a fun day full of priceless information.
She may be a few years away from getting behind the wheel of my new car, but it’s never too early for her to learn how to do it safely.
“This post was written as part of my association with TeenDrive365 and theToyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic. For more information on the Toyota Teen Driver Safety Clinic, please visithttp://bit.ly/1nfUJ0e”
P.S. If you are looking for parenting guidance, to heal through mind-body services or simply need someone to listen, you're in the right place. You can learn more by visiting my Counseling & Coaching site at Wonder Inc.