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Do You Know How To Drive A Car?

This chapter will take you back to yesteryear when you learned how to drive a car. What possible reason do I have for putting this chapter in the book? I believe strongly that if I can show you examples of behavior that you can relate to, we can provide you with the basis for change. You see I am trying to change a culture. I cannot do this without you. If I relate something you did in the past to what is happening now you can come up with your own solution to the problem. Hence the car analogy.

When you learned how to drive there were some tense moments. The man I baby sat for taught me how to drive. I was in demand in my neighborhood because I loved kids and he drove a Cutlass 442. I drove it from his house to my house on the way home after babysitting. It was about a 1 mile straight shot.

When I went for my driver’s test the instructor had me pull over. He asked me how long I had been driving. When I told him that I had my permit for 6 months he said “That is not what I asked.” I told him I had been driving since I was 14. He said let’s go back to your brother; this is a waste of my time. (I passed WHEW!)

I say that part of the story to impress on you the image and memory that stayed in my mind about the experience. I want you to know that whether it was Mr. Tabor showing trust in me behind the wheel of his car, or my oldest brother John teaching me to drive both people let me drive.

When my father signed me up for driver’s education I was not pleased. I know how to drive I thought. I was wrong. Certainly the class work was boring and I did not care to study in the summer. But, what I realized when taking the course was the bond we developed with the other kids in the car and the classroom. We ended up getting there a little early so we could study for the test. We talked to each other about problems we had.

Our instructor was a great guy. He drove a Chrysler 440 and talked to us about things other than the defensive driving course. He’d have us pull over to look at things changing up the normal mundane drive.  If we failed to signal or didn’t look over our shoulder he would kindly remind us of our mistake and not yell at us in front of the other kids. He kept us involved positively the whole time.

They did not constantly correct me when I drove. As I got better Mr. Tabor let me drive around the neighborhood. We had three streets that ran parallel connected by one street through the middle of all three. The memories are fantastic and obviously lasting.

These are the memories we want to create for our children. We want to give them instructions. Let them make decisions with guidance more than instruction. Let them figure it out. Let them drive. Certainly after you finished getting your license you wanted to drive over to a friend’s house, or anywhere on your own showing your independence? You wanted the feel of accomplishment. There was great freedom in not having to ask someone to take you somewhere. The knowledge gained in driving could be applied to other things in your life, whether you knew it or not. Strategizing on how to get where you want to go raises a ton of important questions. Was there enough gas in the car? How would you pay for it if there was’nt? You needed to concentrate and be aware of your surroundings at all times when you drove. You had to weed out distractions and still be able to drive. Once that was accomplished you wanted to turn on the radio and listen to some music. Quite an education indeed.

The brain needs different stimuli. All these things I remember about learning had to drive in a positive way have stayed with me for over 46 years. Aren’t these the same kind of memories we want our children to have growing up? Don’t we want the kids to be able to have a base of knowledge for their journey not ours? Isn’t the point of coaching or teaching to help the kids become their own person, on their own path, with their own journey?



Written by : Jennifer