Recently I took my oldest son out for lunch. Afterwards, I told him he could drive us home. All it took was him backing the car up and putting it in drive. Next thing I knew my blood pressure was rising very similiar to the last time we tried that experiment.
In hopes of not spoiling our time together, I quickly took back the driver’s position. I could see the frustration on his face. I’m sure he figured he would never have more than his driver’s permit. It was at that moment I realized I drastically needed to change my approach.
I told him we weren’t headed home, but would be going somewhere with much less traffic. The first thing I did was start covering the basics of driving. I showed him how to be cautious, prepare to turn, make a turn, park, parallel park, and make a three point turn. Then, I allowed him to do all those things as I played coach. Most importantly, I approached him with a much greater patience and purpose.
Sadly, I had been expecting him to know things I never took time to teach him. With little experience, I expected him to pull out into a busy highway and make all the right decisions. No wonder he felt overwhelmed and seemed totally unprepared. I never covered the basics or gave him enough opportunity to gain experience.
When we got home from over an hour of driving basics my son hugged my neck. He said, “Thanks for taking me to practice driving. Most of all thank you for not blowing your top while I was driving.” Honestly, I believe I learned way more that day than him.
I was reminded that we can’t expect our children to know things we don’t teach them. We must take time to love them, show them, teach them and encourage them in the way they should go. And, our attitude will make all the difference.
In the past, my son had every right to feel frustrated while driving. Thank God his dad learned how to settle down and teach him on his level. I don’t think it will be long before he is ready for that license.
(Proverbs 22:6) Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
(Ephesians 6:4) Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.