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Today my recently turned sixteen-year old daughter and I had our first formal driving lesson. I adore this stuff. I loved watching her in the driver’s seat as she learned, a mix of fear and delight, joy and confusion.

We sat in the driveway, and just as the parent teaching manual advises we discussed the different instruments. It was a surprise how little she knew about even the heating system, but it doesn’t matter. This is the time to carefully and thoroughly go over all that. It’s fun to pose questions and watch as she tries to figure out where the high beams are, and, for that matter, what the high beams even are. You learn so much better if you have to go through some intuitive or deductive process to get there. You trust yourself better if you realize that you are the one who figured it out with nothing more than a prompt. I just love the process of learning and I love being a teacher.

So we sat there for no more than the promised ten minutes. She’s anxious to learn but too much at once is overwhelming and the fun goes away if you are overwhelmed. So we kept it short, wrote it in the notebook to keep track of our hours of training since the DMV wants you to sign-off on the hours. I want my kids to see me following the rules and being responsible relative to driving the car and even in teaching them how to drive. It sends the message that I am taking this seriously. It also seems reasonable for kids to make the jump to feeling confident as a driver, knowing that they really have learned what they need to know, book learning that is, by seeing us check off each of the chapters.

I loved that ten minutes so much.