Who made the law that says 16 year olds are ready to drive a car? It was probably an insane-bachelor-politician type. If ever parents need Valium, it's during this time in their lives.
Driver's Education was invented to keep families together. What parent can teach his/her own teenager to drive without becoming anxious and vocal? I gladly paid my hard-earned money to the local driving school. The driving instructor either has nerves of steel or brain dementia. The test-driving instructor at the Department of Motor Vehicles deserves a big raise and an early retirement pension.
Parents, I advise a complete physical examination and a prescription for high blood pressure medication before getting into the passenger seat. If you didn't have high blood pressure beforeyou will now! Also, take a change of clothing in case you wet your pants when your teen makes a sharp turn. Extreme stress produces all types of physical and emotional reactions. You may want to check your medical policy to see if a short (or long) visit to the hospital is covered.
The main coping skill is staying calmeven when your teenager almost pulls out in front of a speeding semi-truck, barely misses an elderly pedestrian, or backs into a parked car. Although, deep breathing helps only until you hyperventilate. Buying a teenager's first car is another great adventure. Make them sign a legally binding contract stating they will work a part-time job to pay for gas and car insurance. Then, sit back and relax until your next offspring turns 16 years old.
Melissa writes about the God and human connection and condition.