24 Comments

  1. Our son was a terror to teach, Laurie. He was an excellent driver but a reckless and impatient one – tailgating, zooming up to intersections, over-confidence, you name it – he frazzled me no end. Our daughter was completely different – really casual and a bit ditzy (she doesn’t know right from left – apparently that’s a “thing” and had to have an “R” and “L” on her dashboard when she went for her test!) I’d say “stop!” “STOP!!” “STOOOPPPP!!!” and she’d say “don’t shout” and so it went. I was so relieved we only had two children to teach – my nerves never completely recovered – any more and I’d be in the asylum!

    • Laurie Stone

      Leanne, Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one having a nervous breakdown. My second son was just as bad. I’m not sure how any of us survived those years.

  2. OMG. This made me laugh because you reminded me of me, except, I take the crown as the worst teacher. After one particularly difficult drive (I screamed when he took a corner too wide and almost hit another car) he got out of the car, handed me the keys and waited another year before deciding to try it again. By then, I had secured a laid back friend to do the teaching. It worked. And for another laugh, one of my friends decided that she needed to drink wine while her son was learning to drive. She never got to drink it because his quick starts and stops made that wine slosh out of the glass all over her!

    • Laurie Stone

      Jennifer, Hilarious! I have a friend who ended up weeping with her daughter on the side of the road, they were so traumatized by the experience. Its a wonder any of us survive.

    • Laurie Stone

      Jena, Patrick’s now in his late 20’s, but I still get a little “nervous” when he drives. He still drives a little fast for me.

    • Laurie Stone

      Antoinette, I think there’s a certain trauma that happens when we teach them that never quite goes away. I’m glad I”m not the only one.

  3. Reading this makes my stomach hurt as I relive helping our 3 kids learn to drive. Our youngest….well, let’s just say my stomach still cramps up every time she gets behind the wheel (and she’s in college). I’m not sure there was anything else as terrifying as as the driving lessons.

    • Laurie Stone

      Shelley, OMG. I can’t imagine teaching three kids. I’d jump out a window. Kudos to you and your bravery.

  4. This is coming up with my children in a few years. I am very worried about it, but your story helps me to realize what is important — getting them to trust themselves. Thanks for the post.

  5. Thanks for a fun post, causing me to relive the horrors of the past with the realization, I SURVIVED! What’s more amazing so did all three of them. And they’re all good drivers today (if way too fast!)
    My top story concerns my two sons. Son 1 had just got his licence and inherited an old, but road-worthy car from his brother-in-law. He gave permission to Son 2 to drive his car when Mom went along to supervise.
    Right.
    We came to the bit where you teach them to stop and start on a hill. Steep hill. Car behind us. Wild revs of the accelerator. Tight grip on the steering wheel. Knuckles white. Me amazingly quiet (I think I was trying to breathe at the time) and . . . the steering wheel came off in his hands.
    Son 1 had been doing some renovations to the car and for reasons I choose to forget, he undid all the screws on the steering wheel and forgot to replace them.
    I rest my case. We got home in one piece – and Son 2 went to a driving school!

    • Laurie Stone

      Shirley, Oh my God!!! How horrifying. You have to make a blog post out of that, if you haven’t already. So relieved to hear you both survived!

  6. I don’t have children, so I can’t relate on that kind of level, but I do remember what it was like for my parents when I started driving LOL! My red mustang was a stick shift and my father taught me to drive it in a cemetery so I wouldn’t kill anybody haha. There were lots of hills in it and honestly, I never got used to the clutch, so I kept my foot on it all the time and burned out 4 of them in the first year! They were always scared to ride with me lol! Thanks for sharing. Great post.

    • Laurie Stone

      Kristi, Couldn’t help laughing about the cemetery and not being able to kill anyone. Your father (like mine) sounds like a patient man. Its amazing they both survived teaching us.

  7. OMG, I totally identified with you. I literally got sick to my stomach every time I was in the car with one of our student drivers. 9 kids and it NEVER got better. My nerves were shot and I gave it all to my husband to handle. He’s far more calm and I decided that I would invest in all the other parenting jobs I felt competent at. Good for you, though!

    • Laurie Stone

      Evelyne, Nine children? You, my dear, are a saint. You’re also smart to give that job to your husband. Unfortunately, mine travelled all the time and it was me or they’d never get practice. Can’t imagine going through this 9 times. You’re a strong, amazing woman.

  8. Currently teaching son #2, who is more jittery and yet at the same time less focused than his older brother. He’s gotten worlds better since we began in April. I’m almost ready for him to do it on his own. Dear God, please, may he never have to back out of our driveway.

    • Laurie Stone

      Julia, I’ve been driving over 40 years and still can’t back out of the driveway. I end up on my neighbor’s lawn. I think your son will be fine. Sounds like he’s had lots of practice, thanks to you.

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