23 answers

Driving

My oldest just finished the first segment of driver's education. He now has to go to the Sec. of State to get his Level 1 drivers
permit. Whenever I want to go somewhere, he wants to drive. I let him, but whenever I am in the passenger seat, I am a nervous reck. He likes driving, but not with me, he says that I make him more nervous.
My husband takes him sometimes and he doesn't have a problem with him.
How can I relax when he is behind the wheel?
This is my first experience with this and it is making me very nervous.
I know it is normal to feel nervous about him learning to drive.........but I know it will continue well after he has
his drivers license.
Now I know how my parents felt when I was learning to drive, and how nervous that made them.
It scares me. And in about 1 1/2-2 years from now, I will be going thru it all over again with my second one.
How long does it take to somewhat 'get used to it' and not be as nervous about it?
Probably never, right?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Hi, I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all of you that responded to my request about my son learning to drive.
I get very nervous as he is driving, but I have read what you all wrote, and will try to be more calm when riding in the car with
him. If I can't do this, then I will make my husband take him driving. I can only imagine what it is going to feel like when my younger son starts driving as well.
I really don't think that I will ever 'get used to it', but I will try to be more calm when my son is driving.
Again, I want to Thank you for your responses.

Featured Answers

You'll get used to it. The more practice he gets, the better he'll be and the more relaxed you'll get. My son makes me nervous sometimes, but he's gotten allot better. I like when he drives, less driving I have to do, lol. Just try to take a deep breath and try to relax. I promise, it will get better. :)

I am going thru the same thing, except my oldest just completed the second segment, and gets her licesne next month, I was so nervous I want to cry!! What I did was I let her drive with her dad until she got more comfortable behind the wheel, which made me feel better because she was more comfortable. Now I am still nervous but not as bad, I still have to tell her things or remind her, but I dont do it from the panic stricken state I was in before. It does get easier, for both of you. You will always be nervous and worried, thats part of being a mom. But just letting her drive with dad for a while, did wonders for my mental state!! I think my finger prints are forever imprinted in the handle grip on the passenger side door!

More Answers

I've gone through this with all four of my children now. No, you never really get used to it. I still point out the obvious to my eldest. It is hard to have to sit in the passenger seat and give up the controls. We all like to feel in control of our own destiny, and when you turn the car over to a teenager you feel like you are losing that control.
Try this: Have your child ride next to you, talking about the drive. They should describe the things happening around you as you go. They see the traffic light changing, so it's time to slow down or touch the brake, etc. They see a child in a yard with a ball, so it's time to prepare to brake if necessary. They see brake lights, someone on a bike, etc. etc. They should not be criticizing your driving, but just showing you that they are AWARE of their own surroundings.
Next, let them drive, with the condition that the first time they really scare you their turn behind the wheel is over for the day.
Repeat the process until you are ready to give them 3 strikes before they are OUT. (Meaning out of the driver's seat for the day.)
While they are driving, you can point out to them the things you see along the way, for your own peace of mind that they are then aware of the surroundings. Let them know that you will be doing this probably for the rest of their life so they might as well listen and not get defensive about it. They mustn't get an attitude and say "I know, Mom, I know, I know!"
Bad attitudes lead to bad driving, so they should just take it all from you patiently. Two pairs of drivers eyes are always better than one, and could save lives, so tell them to get over it and just let you stay in control as much as you can.
Try to relax, but only a little. Start now with the next one also pointing out the things along the drive. Never allow them to criticize the other driver, just learn awareness, because awareness saves lives.
Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,

My advice would be to let your husband do most of the training. I know you would like to be involved, but there are some things that you are better at coping with than your husband, and vice versa. Play on each others strengths. That's just my opinion. It would save you a ton of stress, and you can always cheer him on when he gets home. It's probably not helping either of you when you are stressed. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

How about if you have him talk through his driving? For instance , have him say, okay, I'm backing out of the garage, stopping before backing into the street, looking both ways for oncoming cars... As I proceed forward I am checking for the speed limit and making sure that I'm not speeding...Now I see an intersection ahead and I will watch to see if the light changes to yellow. If the light is still green I will still look both ways to make sure cars from the intersecting street are stopped, etc, before I proceed through.... I think you get the picture. Your nervousness probably comes from not knowing for sure that he is mentally focused on everything that is going on around him. This practice of saying out loud what he is thinking will also help cement in his mind good driving habits. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

play a game on your phone or read a magazine while you are in the car with him. You can still keep an eye on whats going on but it might calm you and him down a little.

1 mom found this helpful

I am a driving instructor and a M., so I know how hard it can be to stay calm. Your son is correct in feeling more nervous because you are nervous. That is normal for him and for you. The more you can control your nervousness, the less nervous he will be driving with you. Easier said than done, sometimes! Here are some tips: Ask him to do some commentary driving. In areas of low traffic, ask him to tell you everything he is seeing and doing. Once you realize that he is seeing everything, that may help you relax. If you notice specific areas of concern, take him out specifically to work on those areas. Open the lines of communication and that may make you more comfortable with his driving abilities. Explain that your nervousness is your problem, not his and that may help too. Let him know that you are working to be more relaxed and by communicating more while he is driving this may help make you more relaxed. Hope this helps. Good luck. By spending lots of time letting your teen drive, you are helping to create a safer driver!
Mary Kay

1 mom found this helpful

I am going thru the same thing, except my oldest just completed the second segment, and gets her licesne next month, I was so nervous I want to cry!! What I did was I let her drive with her dad until she got more comfortable behind the wheel, which made me feel better because she was more comfortable. Now I am still nervous but not as bad, I still have to tell her things or remind her, but I dont do it from the panic stricken state I was in before. It does get easier, for both of you. You will always be nervous and worried, thats part of being a mom. But just letting her drive with dad for a while, did wonders for my mental state!! I think my finger prints are forever imprinted in the handle grip on the passenger side door!

I am going through the same thing but I have two teenagers at once taking Drivers Ed..One of them is calm and the other well he is nervous when im in the car.. I sit there and I don't say much unless I see something that they about to wrong I try and remain clam and pray a lot. Just have a postive attuide and try and relax it is not easy.

Hi M.,

I feel your pain!!
I am a driver license examiner for the state (11 years!) and I come across your situation frequently. Often one parent is more comfortable (or less nervous) than the other and so is able to be more helpful to the student as they learn.
You might not get over your nervousness for a while or maybe ever. I suggest that you let your husband be the one to handle the driving with your son for at least a couple of months or longer. Then, go out for a drive with him during a light traffic time and see if you feel differently. Hopefully he will drive really well, your anxiety will diminish (or dissipate) and you will be pleasantly surprised! If not, carry on as before.
If your son doesn't quite appreciate only being able to drive with dad, it could provide an incentive for him to improve quickly so he will have more opportunities to drive with you as well.
At any rate, please don't beat yourself up! You are not a bad mom. The situation is what it is and you will work it out.
If you haven't already, I suggest that you pick up a couple of copies of the "Driving Skills Test Study Guide" from the Sec. of State. It is a very helpful tool in preparing to take the skills test both for the student and the parents.
Good Luck!

J.

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