Driver’s training with my daughter – oh boy


Driver’s training…someone hold me.

So my daughter got her driver’s permit a couple of months ago. Yeah. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of taking your teenager out with their sparkling, brand new driver’s permit, you are in for a treat (total sarcasm here).

Before you start to think that I’m a terrible parent for writing about this, she agreed that this needed to be posted.

We signed her up for driver’s lessons, and after her first lesson with the driving school, it was time for me to take her out. Honestly, I think they should take them out about five times before subjecting parents (and other innocent drivers) to this experience.

She begged me to let her drive to her friend’s house, as we carpool and it was our turn this particular day. I pulled the car out of the garage for her and parked it in the cul-de-sac, pointing straight ahead. I figured this would be the easiest way for her to head right down our street. She eagerly hopped in the car, belted up, checked her mirrors, etc. She released the parking brake, put the car into gear and we started rolling. Right into the neighbors car. Almost. We lurched and thankfully stopped about, oh, 6 inches from their bumper. I believe the passenger floorboard now has permanent dents as I stomped with all my might, hoping to magically find a brake pedal under my foot.

teen driver, drivers training, driver permit

My heart was racing wildly. I wanted to stop the ride and get off, and we hadn’t even left our street yet! Every stop, turn and acceleration was painful. As much as I tried not to, I let the expletives fly (natural reaction, unfortunately). We stopped about 3 feet from stop signs, then proceeded without creeping to the actual stopping point. We swerved (oh how we swerved), lurched, we accelerated and stopped suddenly. We almost sideswiped several parked cars. It was a lot like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. I would have given my left pinky finger to get off this terrifying ride.

I was just waiting to get pulled over for drunk driving. I was sure that someone from the line of cars behind us was going to call the cops, after they witnessed our car swerving and performing other moves typically performed by those who have had a few too many cocktails.

I desperately wanted her to pull over, so I could take the wheel, but honestly, I was scared for her to do that! Would we take out an innocent mailbox, or house? Quite possibly.  I held on tightly as we finally approached her friends house. I told her to slow down, and as I was trying to explain how to pull over, BLAM. The car’s tire (and rim) met the curb with brute force. It was a horrible scraping sound, and I knew that it was going to leave a mark (on my rim). After making sure the car was in “Park”, and the emergency brake on, I leapt out of the passenger side and I finally let out my breath. I inspected my rims and sure enough, they were toast.

scraped wheel rim

Yeah, yeah – I know it is filthy!

I was furious, but I couldn’t let it show.  I’m sure she felt bad enough.

student driver,scraped tire

As time passed, her driving improved.  I have found myself slightly more relaxed when I am her passenger, though there are still plenty of scary moments with me grasping the door handle.  I encourage my husband to take her out whenever possible 🙂

Today was her final lesson with the driving instructor, and she can do her driver’s test at any time.  I think she still needs a little more time, but of course she is anxious to just do it.  I just don’t want her to be heartbroken if she does not pass on the first try.

Have your kids started to drive?  Were your driving lessons anything like mine?



About Author

Jennifer Regan is the owner/editor-in-chief of Eighty MPH Mom, a family-friendly blog. She is active in Brand Ambassadorships and campaigns, and is active in social media, helping brands promote!


  1. Six kids and we are down to two left for this lovely life experience. *sarcasm here too. Actually, I want you to think of all of that wonderful powdery or slushy SNOW we have here too…then black ice we get to worry about with a 15 year old holding the wheel. Now THAT is SCARY!

    Then worst, is going top speed with a missile machine that is 3K +lbs and having the same person driving that was just in lala Black Ops land and perhaps doesn’t have a grasp on reality vs make believe conditions, reactions, movement, etc. The best first lesson I have done is to take them into a church parking lot at night (and use this venue for all your might to PRAY), then let them do some parking in an empty lot where they cant dance with other cars. Usually, this venue can also get them some snow or ice response driving, learning how to get out of a fishtale, how to turn the wheels when sliding, and how FAST a car can go out of control on wet pavement or snow. They learn RESPECT for a vehicle very fast when they are spinning like in some John Candy comedy from the 80’s!

    My son has had his permit just two weeks and still has not done much fast driving. He has a quiet respect for a machine that can turn on you any second and smack a tree. I love that about him. He is tough and confident, but has just the right measure of fear to keep him honest. And both of us alive.

    One thing that shocked the hell out of me Jennifer. I called the insurance agent to put him on our car policy and they said he doesn’t need to be put on til he has a license. I am like WHAT? But NOW is the time i’d think most kids might fender bend, or curb it, or back into a garage? I didn’t remember any of this with the other kids. Maybe it’s because the human brain is a wonderful thing and has a way of protecting us from such trama by making us FORGET it all. Yes, there is a God! Because if I had not been allowed to temper so many of these little (LITTLE?!!!) events we go through with our kids, with some calm and reason, well, lets just say the other 5 of my kids would be using their little push scooters their whole entire lives. And that, would be THAT! 😉

    You go BRAVE, BRAVE Mom! She will get through it. You will get through it. And if your’e lucky, only a few (MORE) gray hairs and some scraped rims.out of the deal. Don’t ya wish she were still little and you’d vow it was much easier changing poop and wiping spit up or listening to them cry with a fever or cutting teeth. OH, those were the days my friend:)

    • LOL oh I love you Eileen! You always know just how I feel. I can’t imagine going through this SIX times – YOU are the brave one! And I hadn’t even thought of having to drive through snow, sleet, etc. I’m so glad we live in an area where we don’t have all of that. I think I would have a heart attack.

      Thanks for your encouraging words, and yes, I DO miss the old days!

  2. I took my son to a big empty parking lot…the store had been closed down forever. I taught him everything he needed to know other than dealing with cars directly around him which he got in his classes and after the parking lot exercises. It was the perfect place for him to learn.

    And, our insurance company said he had to be insured as soon as he had his permit.

  3. Mine haven’t thankfully, but I guess my siblings learning is just as bad! Hubby had to teach my sister a few years ago because I was just a wreck when I tried. Of course, this meant he taught my brother too and I’m sure he will be the one teaching my other brother!

  4. While I don’t have any kids to look forward to this milestone in their life (there’s a whole lotta sarcasm going on here LOL), I know my mom felt the exact same way as you did with your daughter. She absolutely HATES going out with my sister and I. She always talks my dad into it, who I admit, is a lot more patient then her!

    But these things are the way we all learn. I just feel bad for your poor rims >.<

  5. Somewhat funny post, except for the injuries to the car. My kids are both under 10 so I have a little ways to go. I am thinking about keeping the car I currently drive for them as it will be well through its prime before they have their shot to rip it up!

  6. Stephanie Foster on

    This made me laugh so hard. It’s almost like I was there. I’m not looking forward to going through this but it will be here soon.

  7. My son recently got his permit. He is actually a decent driver. There are two problems though that can turn out to be really bad. One is that he is overly confident of his abilities. He resents when I tell him something, when I correct his approach. After all, after driving a whole two months – he’s got this! Ugh.

    The other problem is his aggressiveness. I remember being so meek when I started and I believe it was a healthy meek. I honestly don’t know if I will let him go past his permit and on to his license. Time will tell.

  8. I totally know how you feel! My daughter just got her permit. I have taken her driving a few times and it has been enough to give me a heart attack. Do they not see stop signs! Or do they think it doesn’t apply to them? After a few crazy rides I decided to take her somewhere else to learn. My neighbors lives, cars homes were all in danger. So now we go to the cemetery to practice. I figure she is not going to hurt anyone there. 🙂

  9. Well, I have a few years left thank goodness. I am learning parenting doesn’t get easier. It gets scarier. DD 11 informed me the other day 1,825 days until she can get her driver’s license. She is 11. God, I wish her math was that good when it is supposed to be good. Crikey! Anyways my hubs tried to teach me when we first got together – before we were married and we rapidly realized we’d kill each other if that went on for any length of time. And so off to driver’s training it was. Money well spent.

  10. I am not looking forward to this day. My mom tried to take me out and teach me to drive a stick shift. She assumed I knew the basics so when we got to a stop sign and put the brake in without the clutch, it lurched and then died.

    She yelled and told me to get out. It wasn’t until 20 years later that I finally learned how to drive a stick shift. lol Good for you for not yelling.

    • Oh no! Oh it took everything in me not to yell. I learned to drive a stick shift when I was 18. I remember that was the first time I swore in front of my dad, when I got stuck at a green left arrow 3 times and people behind us were honking.

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