Oh Joy! A Driving difficult child.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DazedandConfused, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    So, Daughter is going through the process to get her driver’s license. :anxious:

    It’s such an ordinary teenage ritual. I got mine on my 16th birthday when my Dad picked me after school and took me to the DMV to get my driving test. I had a car to use until I turned 18 and bought my own.

    Daughter is going to be 17 in less than a month. She went to Driver’s Ed and now has to be enrolled in a driver’s training course in order to get her permit. Providing she pass her written test. She takes the written on Thursday.

    Am I concerned?

    That would be a big affirmative.

    About a 9 months ago, in the middle of the night, Daughter snuck in my purse, got my car keys, and tried to drive my car to a friend’s house in a nearby city about 10 miles away. Did I mention Daughter had never driven before? Of course, she would claim that it “looks easy” when I was driving in the car with her. Anyway, she ran into some trouble when she tried to back out of the driveway. Trouble being our mailbox. Our drive way curves around and even sometimes I have to be careful when backing out. Anyway, she damaged the new spare tire cover (new because my car had been recently repaired when someone rear ended me) and took out the mail box.

    husband, and I, were sound asleep when she wakes up husband, and she tearful and saying over and over, “I’m so sorry”. Then, she explains that she damaged the car trying to drive it. husband jumps out of bed in a sleepy fog. I just stayed in bed and let him handle it. I usually handle Daughter’s drama, and I just didn’t have the energy to deal with drama in the middle of the night. Anyway, Daughter tried to “repair” the damage by using some touch up paint given to me by the auto repair people after the rear ending.

    The next morning is when I got my turn to lay into her. Actually, I didn’t say much. I mostly glared at her. Why did she do it? Because she was angry that I wouldn’t drive her to this friends house so that she could return a shirt she had borrowed. I told Daughter she could take the bus when she had asked me, or I would take her the next time I drove to that town. Apparently, the bus is beneath her and she didn’t want to wait

    I did ask, in a very low growl, did she realize she could have killed herself, and someone else? That she exposed her Dad, and I, to financial ruin if she had gotten into an accident? Of course, what in the heck WAS she thinking?
    Response: “I thought it would be easy”.

    Anyway, she found out it wasn’t. At least the nagging me to drive stopped afterwards.

    So, I simply backed off. I didn’t encourage. If she wants her license, she would have to figure it out. Make the arrangements, etc. She did, took the class, studied, and now is on the verge of getting her permit.

    Oh boy.

    My primary concern, at this point, she Daughter is such a drama queen. She gets over emotional very easily and very nervous. She allows this to cloud her judgment in everything else and I dread she goes off while driving a car. She so impulsive and that and driving don’t go together. Yet, she is going to need this skill, especially in our area. This is also a symbol of growing up and Daughter definitely needs to mature.

    For example, two days ago, she got mad at the dog over some little thing and declared, “I never want to see that dog again!”

    Anyone willing to share their experiences with car-driving difficult children?
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  2. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I cannot share a driving difficult child experience becuz even tho we have no public transporation here, and our town is not even set up for walking pedestrians, and even tho it was very hard for me to get around for awhile- my difficult child did NOT get a drivers license yet. She is 19. She is FAR too anxious, impulsive etc. Good for me, difficult child did not even argue this decision. She actually agreed with it. Due to the very large number of fatal accidents here involving teens, and the number of their friends hurt etc, she continues to feel she prefers to not drive and not ride with peers.

    IL has passed some VERY strict driving requirements and rules/laws for teen drivers and as of Jan 1 this year, they also now take away or withhold the license of any kid who gets into any legal trouble at alll, even if it is entirely not driving related. And drivers ed is mandatory in HS for graduation. Even if you have a health condition that makes driving impossible (example- a blind child - the parents thought it ridiculous their child HAD to take drivers ed, well, not the driving part, of course, but he did have to take the classroom part)
    My easy child drives, but I always wonder how she ever GETS anywhere, she gets lost so easy!
  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Actually, I am just a bit ahead of you in time. My difficult child got her permit in May of this year. I prepared myself for some real battles and made sure I had very low expectations about the experience.

    It turned out to be a great one so far. Yes, we have had a few instances where she yelled out or thinks I am yelling at her. But, really it has been the very first thing I have experienced with my difficult child that feels totally normal. Sad as that is, it is true.

    Mine is fixed on November for taking her driving test. I do not know why. I told her she could take it as soon as she got a job.
    I do plan on paying for a couple one hour sessions with a driving instructor. I just feel like there are tips that someone else would know to give that I would not think to mention.

    Good luck! I hope it is as good for you!
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    :crazydriver:No ... just my easy child. Who used to drive like a grandma. Now she tailgates.
    The other day someone turned the corner and cut in front of her. Their windows were open and she yelled, "Go back to driving school!"
    After she did it, she was immediately remorseful.
    I was just trying to get my heart to stop pounding because that person nearly took out the front passenger side (that would be me).
    But if this is easy child driving, I can only imagine difficult child driving.

    I had to chuckle at the way you wrote about the mailbox ... Anyway, she ran into some trouble when she tried to back out of the driveway.
    I'm glad she didn't get farther than the driveway.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We're two years away from this drama -- at a minimum, and I'm hoping difficult child 1 waits longer, but I doubt that will happen. I will be a nervous wreck.

    I don't know what you can do about her emotional reactivity... I see that she's not medicated, but perhaps you can get her to take a "mindfulness" class -- sort of a meditation class to help people relax and be more aware of their environment. UCLA wanted husband to take one as part of an ADHD study they were doing, but we live in OC and it just was NOT possible for him to drive up there twice a week.

    Yoga might also be good to help her relax and think things through better. I'm only suggesting because of what I've heard, not from personal experience.

    I think they should hand out sedatives for parents when difficult child's appply for their permit!
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT got her license in February. She took driver's training, got her permit, knocked down a stop sign, took her written test a few times, practiced driving with me right beside her, and I let her test even though I didn't think she was ready...and the State of California, in its infinite wisdom...gave her her license.

    Since then, she's driven down the sidewalk (mistaking the handicapped curb ramp for a turn), hit a gate at school the first day she drove, and wiped out the side of the truck on a concrete barrier at the gas station.

    Good luck to you.
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so glad my difficult child is nowhere near driving age. I'm nervous enough about easy child being old enough in 6 months to get her permit and a year to get her license.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, my difficult child is too young to get his license, as well. And after reading this post, he might never get a license. LOL!
  9. MyFriendKita

    MyFriendKita Member

    My son took driver's ed, had his permit for a year before he could get his license (because of when his birthday fell), and since then has:

    Backed into a mailbox trying to get another kid off the hood of the car.
    Got our pickup stuck over a large rock and tore a hole in the gas tank trying to get it off.
    Put my car in a ditch and broke something in the steering (to make the car go straight, the steering wheel had to be turned at about a 45 degree angle).
    Backed in to a car in a parking lot that was backing out at the same time.
    Sideswiped some landscape timbers at an apartment complex.
    Got my car stuck in another ditch and bent something in the wheel.
    Stood on the roof of the car and dented it.
    Was at a friend's house when someone firebombed our car (in the friend's driveway).
    Has gotten tickets for speeding (more than once), disregarding a traffic signal (more than once), not wearing a seatbelt (twice), not having a motorcycle permit, not wearing a helmet while driving a motorcycle (after he got his motorcycle permit), and not having his license with him (twice within a two month period).

    However, as volatile as he is, he doesn't lose his temper behind the wheel. The biggest problems have been his carelessness, irresponsibility, and inattentiveness.

    I hope it helps to know that we've survived our difficult child's learning to drive; your daughter couldn't possibly be this bad.
  10. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Copper REPEATEDLY snuck out at night and took the car from age 15. When she got caught (after clipping the garage) she made off like it was no big deal, and continued to sneak out on foot. We did not allow her to get her license until she was 18, but she has matured nicely since then. I am happy to report that she is a very courteous driver.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Whew! Good think BBK's note was last. My eyeballs were rolling around in their sockets. This is a scary thread.
  12. change

    change New Member

    My daughter is only 12 (about to be 13 in a couple of weeks) but I AM NOT AT ALL ready for her to drive anytime soon and know she won't be ready at 16. She is impulsive, inconsistent, and yet can be overly cautious sometimes to the point of tardiness, etc. I can see her rear-ending someone or repeatedly banging up a vehicle. My husband just had to get a new car because he was driving a really old one and it died. He really wanted an Infinite G...he got an economy car (Hyundai) with the expectation that someday he'd pass it to her. I drive a Hybrid Lexus; one day a few months after I got it, she said something about wanting one too when she begins to drive. I ignored her.
  13. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    My difficult child was not allowed to get his licence until he was 18. He drove well (he has great spatial ability and always seemed comfortable driving) and passed his test first time. But ... easy child 2 has since told us that when difficult child drove them to school he would speed, pull out dangerously into intersections, race to catch up to friends, etc. etc. :eek: He backed out of the garage and hit the front of our Mercedes. He scraped up the back fender of our new Toyota. And he slid - at slow speed, but still - into a pole during the winter with our old Corolla and finished it off. He did not consider any of these incidents to be his fault.

    He got two underage drinking charges in the past college year and had his licence pulled for a year. He gets it back next February, but he will no longer drive any of our cars. We've taken him off the insurance. He'll have to save and buy his own vehicle.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was the ultimate difficult child but I was a great driver. The only accidents I was ever in were not my fault. I was stupid and careless when I was younger and did some stuff that could have caused myself some damage but didnt. (Like driving 80 or more down the interstate while passing the bong!)

    All that said...my boys werent allowed to get a license until they were adults. They wouldnt keep the grades up and somehow even though I was a dummy, I managed to. I had enough sense to know how to skirt the line. Now Jamie can drive circles around anyone but that is because of all his training...lol. I think he has a license to drive just about anything.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Change, actually, I discuss cars a lot with-my difficult child. I want him to show responsibility and learn to drive responsibly. He will have to pay for 1/2 of everything, so if he doesn't have a job, no car. Knowing that, we can talk until we're all blue in the face. :)