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skrink
04-13-2015, 07:11 AM
So, for those of you with older kids, have they gotten their licenses yet? In less than 2 years dd will be legally able to get her learner's permit but I know she will be in no way mature enough to handle the responsibility. She just doesn't have the impulse control thing down anywhere near well enough to be safe on the roads. I don't know how ready she'll be at 18, really. We live on the outskirts of nowhere, no public transportation to speak of, so it will limit her ability to work, take classes, etc., without relying on someone else to get her back and forth. I know it's some time before it's a real issue for us but I was just curious how other families deal with these sorts of things.

MNDad
04-13-2015, 08:21 AM
I have two driving-age children - one almost 19, the other almost 16.

My experience with older son was as you describe. I never trusted him. Impulse control was an issue as were many other factors. In fact, I never ended up consenting to having him drive. Very long story.

Second son has permit and is doing practice driving. Completely different story. He took the driver's ed very seriously. He will do as well as any kid. I will say that for him there was a lot of maturation in the early high school period - so you may be surprised.

Let's see: DD will get her license in 2024 at which time I'll have been driving kids for 28 years. Maybe her first drive will be to transport DW and me to the retirement home.

skrink
04-13-2015, 09:08 AM
Thanks, MNDad. I know a lot can change over the course of a few years, and I'm hopeful. Still, I think it's reasonable to expect that dd won't be following the typical timetable for certain milestones. We'll play it ear. And - good to know you have that retirement home transport lined up. :) I do appreciate planning ahead.

Is your older son driving now? And, if I might ask, is he adapting well to college life? I have been busy borrowing trouble and was awake last night thinking about dd's future. Some unknowns are easier to handle than others.

MNDad
04-13-2015, 09:18 AM
Is your older son driving now? And, if I might ask, is he adapting well to college life? I have been busy borrowing trouble and was awake last night thinking about dd's future. Some unknowns are easier to handle than others.

He is driving. The last 12 months have been pretty transformational. College is going OK - more academically focused. He is much more together. Nothing like real-world experiences.

BatDad
04-13-2015, 09:20 AM
Let's see: DD will get her license in 2024 at which time I'll have been driving kids for 28 years. Maybe her first drive will be to transport DW and me to the retirement home.

That is just wrong. Hilarious. But wrong.

My oldest is 9, and the over analyzer in me already worries about stuff like this. Like so many things, I am not experienced. I used a bicycle to get to work and junior college. I bought my first vehicle, a motorcycle, at 22. I actually had to borrow a vehicle to pass the driving test just so I could have a license for my motorcycle endorsement. I then bought my first car at 24.

Our family car is in the shop right now, with a $400 repair in process. I already worry about how we can financially swing things when DS9 is of age. The high school kids I knew would just throw down $500 on a junker and fix it up. It doesn't seem like that is an option anymore.

I suppose I can't help ya Skrink, but wish you well since I have another six years or so.

inmom
04-13-2015, 09:40 AM
Both my teens got their permits and went through a local driving school (mostly because the cost of the school would be paid for over time by a reduction in their car insurance for having gone). Both got their license at 16.5 years old.

The older of the two, my dd, realized immediately how much responsibility driving entails, to the point that sometimes she prefers not to drive.

My ds is a more relaxed yet still good driver. However, he's always been the more responsible of the two.

Prior to getting his license, however, ds was starting to become belligerent and moody, feeling he had no control over his life. He got a part-time-job and his license within months of each other. The responsibility and little bit more freedom worked wonders on his attitude.

Sometimes I think it's just a maturity issue. Each kid is different. I've known other kids who waited until 18, 19, or 20 until they got their license because they were not comfortable with driving.

Avalon
04-13-2015, 11:04 AM
In Alberta, you can get your learner's at 14 and your license at 16. My dd could have got her learner's over a year ago, but she finds the whole thing a little intimidating. That's fine, since most kids really aren't ready at 14. I do intend to push her a little to get her license before she turns 18. I think it's a life skill, and I want to support her in getting it done. I also think it's the type of thing that takes many, many hours of practice to gain the skills, and I'd prefer she do that with me and her Dad while we still have some authority over her. (yes, we'll take the driving course, but that's not enough hours to practice all the skills thoroughly.)

inmom
04-13-2015, 11:11 AM
.... I also think it's the type of thing that takes many, many hours of practice to gain the skills, and I'd prefer she do that with me and her Dad while we still have some authority over her. (yes, we'll take the driving course, but that's not enough hours to practice all the skills thoroughly.)

I think Avalon has a very valid point. I think having the kid drive while mom or dad is in the passenger seat over a long period of time is a great idea, even if he/she already has a license. Real life situations come up that don't occur in driver's ed. For example, my son was driving to work on the highway at the end of a blizzard this winter. I went with and pointed out that the semis were only going 30 mph. It was a teachable moment--even though the speed limit says 55 mph, conditions only warrant 30, and the truckers were indirectly letting you know that.

skrink
04-13-2015, 12:03 PM
I hadn't considered that, Avalon. I agree that unleashing her without a ton of experience or any real supervision would be a bad idea. Maybe a learner's permit after 16, and then gauge whether or not she's ready to fly solo. I'm assuming a parent would need to sign off before 18, yes?

CrazyMom
04-13-2015, 01:02 PM
Elle just got her license over spring break, and she'll be 19 this summer. Was just one of those things she's been too busy to get done, and she really wasn't excited to do it. Not a super enthusiastic driver. She's awesome, though....very cautious, very serious about it. Really good driver.

Going to school on a pedestrian campus makes a car a fairly low priority. Not only would she have to win a lottery to get a parking permit near her housing, it's an extra expense....and it's not like she could drive to class....there is no parking on campus, and the city parking structures are expensive and inconvenient. Even people who own cars take the bus to class. Mostly, the kids who own cars use them to go home for the weekend. Elle takes the train when she wants a weekend home...so it hasn't been a hardship.

Elle's boyfriend got his license at 18, too. Several of her friends at college don't have licenses. Not sure what this trend is about. When I was a kid, everyone wanted their license as soon as they turned 16.

MNDad
04-13-2015, 05:43 PM
I've heard that's a more and more common occurrence - kids getting their licenses much later. Many of the things that required transportation in the past - they just do over cell, SMS or whatever social network service is in use du jour.

Maxaroo
04-13-2015, 10:47 PM
We're using Driveredinabox and taking it very slowly. DS will be 16 in August. He is just about ready to get his learner's permit, but I feel there is absolutely no rush to get a license. I plan to spend a long time practicing with him. We live in a rural area, so I am fairly comfortable working with him out here. Driving is a privilege, not a right. If our kids aren't ready, they aren't ready. No big deal.

darkelf
04-16-2015, 06:09 PM
If my Ds gets into his science program, he will need to drive back and forth.
We already purchased a second smaller car for this. He will take Driver's ed this summer and we will let him practice driving a lot.

I have no worries with the first 2, it is that third one who scares me.......

pdpele
04-17-2015, 02:30 AM
No disrespect to the good people on this thread....and my DS is only 7 so I am ducking and covering now....

I think we are making kids too scared. I've noticed a lot of young adults too scared/anxious to learn to drive. Even past the age when their parents would like them to. I've got a (totally unfounded, un-researched, personal opinion) theory. I think there's a downside to increased focus on safety, in particular car safety - increased irrational (maybe) fear/anxiety about driving. We give them the message that it's dangerous and they need to be constantly protected.

Kids are now in booster seats until 8yo or more. Many of them ride in the backseat for...a long time. I joked with my cousin (at the time in her 20s) that she should be in a booster seat, by some states' new height recommendations. Ok, maybe not a funny joke, but she seems quite comfortable with her (short) height and she mentioned the billboards she'd seen...And my whole family is height-challenged. Like marries like most often, after all. I am not tall.

Obviously, car seats and booster seats do a lot of good. But I think our overall social/cultural messages to kids tells them they are not competent and should be afraid - in cars, and in many things encountered in life. Surely, many safety measures save lives....but overall, many might also trap some kids in fear. Just my (long!) two cents.

Gulp. And my kiddo is one of the ones that for attention/focus/impulse issues might be best served by waiting a bit before going for the driver's license....

MNDad
04-17-2015, 06:09 AM
I think we are making kids too scared. I've noticed a lot of young adults too scared/anxious to learn to drive.

Good points. There is a subset of kids who seem reluctant to get their licenses. One of our neighbors' kids fits that description. It's part of a generalized trend - the extended infantilization of childhood. It reminds me of the recent incidents in the D.C. area where two siblings (11 and 6 y/o) were picked up by the cops walking two blocks from their house because they are too young to be unaccompanied by an adult.

I think texting and cell phones, though, completely change the risk equation when it comes to teen driving.

crunchynerd
04-17-2015, 07:08 AM
Because I didn't get my license when most people do, in their teens, I ended up not getting it until much later in my adulthood than was ideal, and my experience was, it's a lot harder to get your license if you have never had one, once you are an adult on your own. Particularly if you don't live somewhere with really good mass transit. Trying to get enough money to have a car, when you are limited to taking only jobs you can walk to (like, say, fast food?) is pretty much impossible, and getting a decent job without a car is also near impossible, so it's a vicious cycle of underemployment due to lack of a car, and lack of a car due to underemployment.

Therefore, my kids will be getting their licenses as soon as they are old enough, or else at least by the age of majority. I'm aware of the new trend away from cars, and appreciate that, but until and unless driving a car stops being a basic prerequisite to full adult autonomy and the ability to earn a living in most of the US, skipping it until later-or-never is not an option to us.

It really was a hardship on me to be an adult who couldn't drive, until I was in my 30's. I often wished I lived somewhere where cars almost don't matter (usually the biggest cities, where mass transit is the norm and cars sit in traffic way longer than it would have taken to walk), but I didn't, and it really stank.

So, much as I'd like to see us become a mass-transit society, America is still the Land of Sprawl which makes it harder to do that here, and being at least able to get around independently in a car, is still a basic need if you want to have full social and economic independence.

I think I heard a news story on the phenomenon of kids these days not driving and not even wanting to, and they surmised it was due to their generation being far less able to afford to purchase, maintain, or even insure, a car, compared to previous generations. Kind of like how much harder it is for the current crop of new adults, to buy a house, than it was for previous generations. A lot of people are giving up on the "American Dream" but not necessarily due to simply not preferring it, but possibly due to it becoming impractical or a pipe-dream in their eyes.

skrink
04-17-2015, 08:45 AM
Interesting turn to the convo, pdpele. :) I have 2 nephews who were terrified to learn how to drive. One learned when he was in his early 20s, the other in his late 20s. And then only because of necessity in both cases. I remember not understanding that AT ALL. When I was 10 years old I couldn't wait until I was 16 and could have that freedom. I think fear for sure is a big part of the equation, and then I have another, more controversial theory. Kids are just more taken care of, comfortable, and a bit less in a rush to grow up and take responsibility for their own lives. Part of it is perhaps the infantilization MNDad mentioned; they have no practice being responsible for themselves until they are suddenly told that hey, you're 18, you're fully grown so welcome to the rest of your lives.

All that said... I have a daughter on the autism spectrum. She has certain delays in executive functioning and in mature, emotional development that are my real concern. (Notice I did post this under the learning differences section.) Apart and away from any particular trends, I am interested in hearing from & about folks with those kinds of difficulties and how they make it through some of the big milestones of maturing and adulthood.

pdpele
04-18-2015, 01:28 PM
Sorry, Skrink, I'm a bit too easily distracted myself some days! :o Hope others chime in with more suggestions!

quabbin
04-19-2015, 01:09 PM
I waited until I was a college sophomore to get my license, even though I'd taken Driver's Ed and gotten a permit in high school. A major factor was not being able to afford a car anyway.

DS started trying to get into the driver's seat at age 3. I don't think he'll be delaying getting his license.

HawaiiGeek
04-19-2015, 04:10 PM
My DS is so challenged with motor planning that I don't think he will be able to drive. I got my driver's license on my 16th birthday and though I didn't have a car, my mom was so happy to give me the chauffering duties for me and my brother. I was always the responsible one and so happy to have the freedom. I do think that as a nation we are helicopter parenting to an absurd degree. My DH has a friend who is a professor and there are kids in college who are complaining that they are uncomfortable with debate because they don't want to have things to be challenged. I mean honestly what is the point of college if you don't feel comfortable learning about new ideas.

The world IS scary out there, but it won't change and driving is just one of the many things to worry about. My neighbor was complaining about me letting my 6 yo and 9 yo play unsupervised in our little neighborhood (always within shouting distance of me). When I discussed the importance of independence and creativity and thinking for themselves, she said well she doesn't want her children to get hurt. Like hovering over your children can prevent that. Both times my DD fell off her scooter, I was standing right there. Plus life hurts sometimes, it is a lesson in itself how to cope with that, stand up, dust yourself off and go forward.

Sorry didn't mean to hijack the thread. I do have concerns with my eldest driving, but due to his difficulties with motor planning, not the whole world of driving. My other 2 will get their permits at the appropriate age for the state and we will go from there.

dbsam
04-19-2015, 08:49 PM
My daughter is only ten so I have a bit of time to worry about this. She has epilepsy, so depending upon her seizure activity she may not be able to drive. She is also on the autism spectrum so that adds another level of worry. She is typically very focused so I am hoping that may actually be a plus. However, I think she would have to drive with the radio off and with no friends in the car because she also has a difficult time with auditory overstimulation. Driving is another reason I regret not holding my children back like so many people in our area do. They will be graduating HS at 17, and assuming they go to college, that means less time to drive while living at home.

I have been thinking of this more lately because we are dealing with my son's medical issues. I always hoped my son could help my daughter if her seizures made it impossible for her to drive. However, my son may also be unable to drive if his health issues worsen. They may need to live in big cities with public transport.

Hopefully, I am worrying needlessly and they will both be fine drivers.

I was afraid to drive when I was young. (And this was not the age of worry over safety...we rode in the back of pickup trucks and my dad cut out the 'bothersome' seatbelts when the new car arrived.) My parents put me in driving classes and made me drive the family as much as possible; even though I begged them not to make me drive. I attended a private school that was approx. thirty miles from my house and they wanted me to drive to school - and form a carpool to help save on gas costs. Back then, we rec'd permits and could drive with parents at age 15 and rec'd our license on our 16th birthday. I graduated and left home as a young 17 year old and was a comfortable and safe driver. After college, I commuted to Chicago for twenty years and was fine driving. However, now that I've been home for eleven years and rarely leave our little town, I get a bit nervous driving...especially in bad weather or at night.

HawaiiGeek
04-20-2015, 04:05 PM
dbsam: I am so sorry you are dealing with so many health issues with your kids. I can only imagine how challenging that is. Hang in there.

dbsam
04-20-2015, 04:20 PM
dbsam: I am so sorry you are dealing with so many health issues with your kids. I can only imagine how challenging that is. Hang in there.

Thank you
I should refrain from posting for a while. I've been overwhelmed and a bit down lately. Sorry to bring down the thread. It's just that I was actually thinking about things like driving lately so this thread got my attention.

CrazyMom
04-20-2015, 04:42 PM
No worries. Hope things start looking up:)

skrink
04-20-2015, 05:04 PM
I'm sorry, dbsam. :( I can see why driving has been on your mind. I've been working through a lot of issues with independence and what that will look like for my child and her challenges. Sometimes it's hard to deal with not knowing what lies ahead, especially when you're on a different path from most. I wish you and your kiddos well.

dbsam
04-20-2015, 05:19 PM
I'm sorry, dbsam. :( I can see why driving has been on your mind. I've been working through a lot of issues with independence and what that will look like for my child and her challenges. Sometimes it's hard to deal with not knowing what lies ahead, especially when you're on a different path from most. I wish you and your kiddos well.

Thanks,
I hope all is well for your daughter too.