Our 15 year old granddaughter Sloan and her 13 year old brother Lawson are visiting with us this summer from Jacksonville, FL.
Last night we spent about an hour in one of the local high school parking lots, and we may be there for a few more evenings over the next couple of weeks.
Turning 15 means a lot of things, but one of the most important is a learner’s permit. So last night Sloan and I headed to a high school parking lot so she could do some practice driving. Back in my teaching and coaching career I taught driver's training to kids her age, and even a few senior citizens in the communities where I was teaching. The senior citizens’ driver's training is another story.
One of the thoughts that quickly came back to me last night as she was practicing was the fact that you better be specific when giving instructions. Bottom line, don’t take anything for granted. Don't assume they understand what you are thinking or saying.
If you say, “I want you to turn left at the next stop,” and the one you are instructing repeats these words back to you, you never answer back with “Right,” because they may turn right at the next street. The best answer is either correct or yes. Also don’t point and say, “I want you to drive up and stop at that lamp post.” You have to be specific by saying “I want you to drive up to the third lamp post on your left and stop;” otherwise who knows what lamp post they may stop at. All of this is magnified once you get on the “Real road.”
Taking the words and actions of others for granted, especially our loved ones, is something we all do much too often. It causes hurt and misunderstandings. Don't assume they know what you are thinking.
If you are teaching a young teen to drive, you take nothing for granted. Good luck when leaving the parking lot!
June 26, 2013