Do you remember the first time you were able to drive with your buddies in the car, and how that felt? One of the best things in life is hitting the open road, and just gunning it. Going wherever it takes you. To a parent, that sounds terrifying, but there are a bunch of excellent benefits to teaching your children to drive. Let’s get into it:
Viva La Freedom
Not all parents are perfect. With teenagers, sometimes we end up yelling, saying things we regret, and the fights get out of hand. Nobody likes to hear it like that, but it’s true, and it’s part of the process of growing up. They’ll rebel, even in their own tiny ways. When they can go cool off with their friends or go for a relaxing drive, everyone gets a clearer head before the verbal warfare escalates. Let them hit the road for a few hours if they really want to; everyone is a lot calmer after some downtime.
It’s an exciting thing, but as we all know, cars are weapons in the wrong hands. Making this point clear without scaring your kid can help them come down from the adrenaline rush of learning to drive, and really see this for what it is: a privilege, not a right. This is your chance to teach them right so they don’t make mistakes that can cost accidents.
Help When You Need It
We don’t want to use our kids as a package delivery service, but wouldn’t it be insanely helpful if they were able to drive the younger one to and from soccer practice? If you ran out of an ingredient while cooking; let them take the keys. It’s the start of letting go, piece by piece, and it builds on their responsibilities and skills.
Turning It Into a Lesson
I homeschool all four of my kids. They’re young enough that they don’t understand what money is yet, just that I need it if we’re going to do a lot of things. Teach them about the financial aspects: what does gas cost? What’s the wear-and-tear on the vehicle itself? How do you properly maintain your car? Use this as an opportunity to let them financially plan ahead for when they own their own ride.
We’re in a day and age where a lot of us are working crazy workweeks, where everyone has their eyes glued to their mobile screen, so bonding time is at an all-time low. There’s a constant need to bond with our children, yet it’s an era where it happens far less. Take the time to build that connection with them, and blare your favorite tunes as you stroll through the parking lot, learning to parallel park. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing; make those memories last just as long.
When did you first learn to drive? Think back and remember what that felt like, and tell your son or daughter that you’re going to teach them from your library of wisdom.