My 16 year old son recently got his driver’s permit. I’ve been teaching him to obey the rules of the road.
I began to realize how many bad habits I’ve picked up over the years. I don’t always use my turn signal when I change lanes or pay attention when the speed limits change. Children can pick up our bad habits just by riding in the car with us and we don’t notice.
Last weekend, my son was driving and I was reminding him to put on the turn signal when merging onto the highway. The first thing he said to me was, “Dad, I never see you do that.” At that point I had to re-evaluate the way I drive and pay more attention when I am behind the wheel. He drove on 2 major highways for the first time and he did better than I expected. He remained calm when I gave him directions from the passenger seat and my wife echoing from the back seat.
Although it will be some time before he is ready to drive alone, I am beginning to build my trust. It takes me back to one of my earlier blogs, “My Kid Wouldn’t Do That: Driving.” I need to apply the same rules to myself and continue to encourage him to do the right thing every time he gets in the driver’s seat.
To all parents reading this, remember your children are paying attention to what you do so pay attention to your bad habits.