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My daughter started her first driving lesson almost a year ago, her goal to have her drivers licence by the time she was 18 years old. She is one of those SMART goal setters, she set a
S – specific goal — to pass her driving test by the time she was 18 years
M — Measurable in that she would hold a document that proves she can complete a specific task ie drive alone in a lethal machine
A — Attainable it was a realistic goal. She was at the right age to start driving and she had the resources available in order to start learning.
R- Realistic – she knew she needed enough time to complete her theory test, and take driving lessons to complete it within the space of a year.
T- Time focused– she set a date by which she was going to accomplish this goal.
When we set goals they don’ t just happen we have to work on them.
My daughter had to study her theory and take a test.
She had to apply for a provisional driving licence.
Then she had to arrange driving lessons, which cost an arm and a leg and more but well worth every penny as there are just some things that a mother and daughter shouldn’ t do together and this I can tell you from experience is one of them.
I remember trying to teach my older daughter to drive.
It went like this … we started off well buckling up and starting the car and from then on it went downhill with me giving instructions which she refused to follow.
It was the first and last driving lesson and she then went to driving schools for all her lessons — frankly I didn’ t have the stomach for it and I still wanted my daughter and I to be on speaking terms.
So I was more prepared for my second daughter and told her firmly that she would not be in the car with me freaking myself out and she could pay someone else for that privilege.
She went through three driving instructors in total and I understand that this is not uncommon.
Firstly, she wanted a female instructor. Now I am all for sticking with the ladies and supporting each other but they have to be able to do the job. I think it was more the fact that car that the lessons were in — was a Mini and she had dreamt of driving one.
She was never enthused with her driving lessons with instructor one and when this instructor struggled to fit her in with driving lessons not because she had too many learner drivers on her books but because of her hectic social schedule, this meant long gaps and weeks without any lessons.
My daughter said enough is enough I have a goal to achieve after all.
So she found a new instructor, another female and boy oh boy as soon as the block of offer lessons came to an end my daughter did not rebook.
This instructor seemed more interested in talking on the phone (I thought that would be illegal surely as an instructor you are as good as being in charge of the car?)
So in comes driving instructor number three, Gary Lamb from British School Of Motoring.
He came with high recommendation which is always a good start. He starts off by polishing up all the faults that she picked up with instructor one and two.
Then he starts to teach her to drive.
I mean to really drive.
She comes home from each lesson so enthused about driving and eager for the next lesson.
When she starts correcting my driving I know that it was starting to sink in for her and she is really becoming a driver.
Afterall the practice and training, she was finally ready.
She had a driving test and she passed. The first time.
Thank you to Gary Lamb and The British School of Motoring — one excellent instructor!! Highly recommended if you live near his area.
So after she had passed her driving test and was official, every sentence started
‘If only I had a car, I could drive myself to dance’
If only I had a car I could drive myself to work.’
If only I had a car I could drive myself to college’
You get the gist.
If only …
So that was it I gave in and she has her own little car.
Now the real driving begins.
The first time you are in a car on your own.
There is no one to help you when something goes wrong.
When you stall and wonder why.
When you are beeped at by the impatient drivers.
When you are going too slow and annoying the drivers.
When you complete your first parking on your own.
The real lessons begin after you have passed your driving test.
We have negotiated that she will use the P plates for three months. I believe the use of P Plates should be compulsory like it is in countries like Canada.
We won’ t even talk about young drivers insurance because I could have bought another car!! But I understand it is high risk insuring a 17 year old behind the wheel of a lethal machine and totally get it.
As she took her first journey alone, I sat anxiously awaiting her arrival. It was the longest fifteen minutes of my life.
Thank goodness for technology as she could drop me a text upon arrival and my anxious wait could end.
We have to let them go and this feels like the next phase of her growing her wings and flying away.
We will all go through this stage as parents and it is never easy.
So now I need to set myself some goals, they need to be
Specific — let her go
Measurable — I am not texting her on every journey
Attainable — I will know I have reached it when I no longer worry incessantly each time she leaves the house in her car
R- realistic, I know that she is responsible and I realistically I need to just stop worrying
T — Time limited when she removes the P plates I hope that all anxiety would have subsided.
Sharing the load with all the mums out there with teenage children taking their first driving lessons, passing their driving test and driving a car on their own for the very first time.
Here’ s to living your digital life
Spreading the Word about the Digital World
Because there is another way!
Driving Test Stock Photo
Photo by Simon Howden. Published on 01 December 2009