Dear Lola,

I am having a parenting crisis and I could use your help. My son has finally reached the age to drive and he has been pestering me to take him to get his learning permit. I have been putting him off by requiring him to read the entire test booklet before I will take him in. Lola, this is just a stall tactic. I don’t want him to drive! I am not sure he is ready for the responsibility that comes with a license. I am positive that I am not ready to sit in the passenger seat, shrieking at the top of my lungs for him to hit the brake pedal. What should I do?

Bicycles are Better

Advice for humans. They need all the help they can get.

Dear Bicycles are Better,

It’s finally upon us. The season when Miniature Humans go back to school and compare notes on who is getting their driver’s permit and when. This conversation will dominate the cafeteria for weeks, displaced only briefly while everyone discusses what kind of car they will be driving once they’ve received said permit. Meanwhile the teachers stand to the side in silent horror – likely wondering if now is the time to retire before they are permanently bumped off this planet by a Mini Human in a car.

No one should have to die by Prius at the hands of someone barely out of diapers!

I think now is the time to sit down with your Mini Human and discuss your worries. Tell him that driving is terrifying and that you know he will murder someone. After all, he didn’t do so well with that pet goldfish and driving is a much bigger responsibility. Explain that he has to earn your trust before he can drive. First, he has to keep his room clean and his bed made. Then he has to do all his own laundry. He should definitely cook all the meals for at least a month – and do the dishes afterwards! If he can complete all of that, then maybe he is ready for a license.

Based on my knowledge of the Mini Human chore ethic, that should earn you 6 months of peace.

If your Miniature Human makes it to week three without wavering, you are in trouble and will need to step up your game. You will have one more week to convince your Mini Human that driving is not for him. Use the internet to show him the absolute carnage that exists on the road. Make sure to use the pause button effectively, burned out shells of a car will really drive home the point you are making.

I should mention that you both may need therapy after this. In fact, it’s practically a given.

If your Miniature Human still wants to drive, I have some bad news for you. He’s going to badger you until your brain explodes. Good thing he had that month to learn how to clean! Have you considered enrolling your Mini Human in a driving class with a qualified professional? You could avoid the month of terrible dinners, the internet video carnage, the therapy bills, and the inevitable brain explosion. You also won’t be strapped into a death machine with someone who once tried to eat tomato soup with a fork while you watched in frustration.

How could you ever take a Mini Human seriously once you’ve seen that?!

Comfort yourself with the thought that if your Miniature Human is actually not ready to drive, the teacher will not pass him until his skills improve.


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43 replies on “Dear Lola – Bicycles are better…

  1. Here’s the fllip side of Lola’s rationale from a 4-times survivor of driver’s ed:
    You want your child to have the longest possible time of driving under your supervision. If they don’t get into the driver’s seat until right before they leave for college, you don’t have much time to expose them to all the different road conditions and different types of driving they need to have before they are in a car all alone.
    Just a thought…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always thanked my lucky stars when one of my boys got their driver’s license. One less kid to ferry around! 🙂 And, with some strictly enforced guidelines (my kids were not allowed to drive with friends in the car), safer than bikes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think there can be anything more terrifying than your child being able to drive, and I think I’d also try to delay it as much as possible. And I’d definitely be hiring an instructor – I would not want my children learning to drive like I do! #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent point from Laurie above, I think it is dumb for kids to carry other kids in a car: they just spur each other on to do daft things. I dread our kids learning, but it will be upon us all too soon!! #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a scary time for a parent but yes I agree if the child in question is insistent on pestering constantly then they probably will have to give in. It’s one of those things that is pretty unavoidable and I absolutely dread it. I learned to drive with an instructor and I think that is absolutely the way to go – it might save a lot of arguments! #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been in a similar boat. While my teenager doesn’t ask too much, the topic has been brought up on occasion. It’s a terrifying thought putting our teens behind the steering wheel of a 10,000lbs vehicle. I like the idea of a driving teacher though. Definitely worth a look. #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel your pain. Santa gave 10 lessons with a driving instructor before either my husband or I would get in the car with our eldest. She chucked it in before the 10th lesson (as you have to get 120 hours here and that just seemed too much) #Dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great advice Lola! I’m pretty sure most teens would cave in at the mention of cleaning. Hehe! I’m actually all for the sensible ones getting their license and cars as soon as they are ready. Late in the evening, it’s a lot better for them to come back in their own car than on the bus on their own. #DreamTeam xx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’d definitely get a qualified professional to take them on their learning to drive journey unless swearing under your breath, accosting people who park in a mother & child bay WITHOUT having children with them and being able to open a fruitshoot with your teeth while driving are now test requirements…of course these are my own ‘skills’ you may have others to impart onto your driving offspring? #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I got my permit to learn at 15. I still can’t believe they let us drive that young! That state now has a requirement that you cannot drive until you’re 18 unless you’ve paid for a professional instructor. Good idea.


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