I have been driving for almost 11 years now. I have never had a traffic violation. Cops have never stopped me for having expired tag, license, or whatever reasons that cops pull people over. It’s either I have been lucky in all these years or my foundation on driving is really good. I would say it’s a combination of both.
Just the other day, my family was heading to the grocery store to do our weekly food shopping. I told my wife that I like to create a post for this week about how we continue to teach Adriana, our daughter, on just about anything. I told her that I like to use something that people can relate to and that is simple enough for people to understand.
As I was trying to figure that particular “something”, I suddenly realized that it was right in front of me and it was what I was doing right there and then, that is, driving. As I continue to ponder on the idea of using driving as an analogy for teaching kids (e.g. my daughter) about values and life, I came to realize that driving really was one great example.
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Similarities Between Teaching Kids and Driving
Teaching kids about values and life is like teaching someone how to drive. There are many considerations that go into teaching kids and so as with teaching someone about driving. There are processes that one has to go through to transform one person from a car rider to a good driver. One of the only differences I can think of is that driving comes with manuals and teaching kids don’t.
Phase #1: Teaching the basics
Driving can be a dangerous activity when the foundation on good driving is not well-built or is not laid out properly from the beginning.
When you teach your kid, let’s say your teenager son, how to drive, you don’t tell him to just hop in the driver’s seat and drive. You don’t just give the car key and let him drive alone. If your son is adventurous, he’d probably take the offer but it is not a good way to teach him how to drive. There are procedures to successfully help him become a driver or, even better, a good driver.
As an experienced driver, you should tell him to sit right beside or behind you in the car. You teach him the basics of driving. You encourage him to study and learn the driving manual since there’s a requirement to pass a written test before he can take the actual driving test. You allow him to ask questions and answer his questions in ways that he can easily understand.
You should teach him the basics of driving even if it means that you have to spend months doing this activity. These basics will serve as his foundation for safe driving.
You should combine the lessons from the manual as well as lessons from your own driving experience. The guidance you provide him will help boost his knowledge and confidence in driving. Failure to teach him the proper and safe ways of driving can be detrimental to him and to his surrounding especially when he is driving in the road.
The same analogy applies to teaching kids about values and life. As parents or responsible adults, you don’t just let kids do whatever it is that pleases them. You are responsible for building a good foundation on values, which will help them now and all the way into the future.
You are there to help and guide them. You should be there to provide their needs and teach them what is right from wrong. You just don’t let them go and figure out what they need to learn in life.
As parent, you devote time, energy, life, and, sometimes, also exhaust all you have to make sure that they have the values that you want them to have.
Phase #2: Teaching through practice
Once your kid, let’s say your teenager son, has passed both the written and driving tests, your job isn’t over yet. Actually, it is just getting started.
For new drivers specifically teenage drivers, somebody is required to be with them, most of the time, while they drive. You, as a parent, will need to sit right next to him while he is behind the wheel.
It is in this stage that arguments can arise. You may have your own proven ways for safe driving, but, your teenager may or will have his own ways for safe driving.
You may find yourself arguing with him about what to do and not do when driving. You may end up getting scared for your life because of the risks associated with letting him go behind the wheel.
Having said all these, it is still your responsibility to teach him about safe ways of driving. You should constantly provide tips and tricks on how to drive safely under different weather conditions and situations. You just don’t let him drive on his own or let him drive without you giving him guidance.
You also teach him how to become a defensive driver. You teach him not to continue swerving on other lanes. You teach him the proper ways of driving to avoid hurting himself and others.
The same analogy applies with teaching kids about values and life. When kids are growing, you continue teaching them the important values in life. You continue to guide them on what to do and what not to do so they know which actions are right and which are not. You guide them throughout their journey in life.
As parents, you help them straighten their paths when they seem to lose their ways or are getting lost. You should always be there to guide and help them when they need you the most.
As they grow older, the basic teachings you showed them may be put into questions because of various influences surrounding him (i.e. friends, society and commerce). You don’t just stop with teaching the basics. You should continue enlightening them on life’s valuable lessons and give clarifications when they question the values you thought them.
Phase #3: Observing more than teaching
When your kids have all grown up or are already experienced in driving, then, it’s your time to sit on the passenger seat and let them be the drivers. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t provide any assistance anymore.
In situations where you children don’t have a lot of experiences on, for example, driving during snow storms, your experience can help them get through these unfortunate driving conditions or situations.
The same analogy applies to teaching kids about values and life. Just because your children are all grown up doesn’t mean that they know everything. They will need advice or guidance from time to time from parents like you. You’ll be one of their go-to people when it comes to situations they are not familiar with or need opinions from families.
Truly, teaching kids is like teaching your children how to drive. In driving, you are trying to get from point A to point B. The same analogy applies to teaching kids. You, as parents, like to ensure that your children will grow from babies who don’t know anything to grown-ups with values that will define them for the rest of their lives.
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