For those of you following Mel’s Driver’s Education Training—-I TRIED AND I FAILED!
Mel started driver’s education training over a year ago. She started with an online, parent training program. That was torture but she completed it. It was torture because Mel does not learn from random reading of facts and stupid videos. It needs to be interesting. I eventually decided the information was not that important and sat with her and help her with the tests. My number one complaint. How many ways do you need to tell my child not to take drugs and drive? Really, that’s my job!
I then put hand controls in my car. Mel from the start, indicated she hated my car. It was to big, had to many blind spots and so forth. As Mel was never in a hurry to drive, I figured most of this was just avoidance. We drove for two hours, most weeks for about 6 months. Looking back, I wish I had gotten hand control on an old truck and let her drive in Grandpa’s pasture years ago. I hear you can find them on Ebay and Craig’s list. Kids without disabilities start driving way before sixteen. I think, that is an important part of the driving puzzle.
For six months, Mel drove. She improved. She progressed to where she would drive pretty well in neighborhoods and on side street. Around 35 MPH. The problem was, I was constantly cueing her to turn on a signal, turn here, and so on. She was not making the navigation decisions on her own. She also, was not motivated. The driving bug, just would not hit her. The desire for freedom never came. I had several friends whose kids really did not care if they drove. I worried but not much. Mel was driving and getting experience. I felt it would eventually come.
I left town for three weeks in October 2013. When I returned, I decided to let Mel take the lead. I was no longer going to cue her to drive and practice. Well, you guessed it. Four months pasted with no driving. I knew I need a new plan. Now in all honesty, Mel not driving was saving me a ton on money. No extra insurance. No extra car payment. Even with the saving, I knew Mel needed to drive. I refused to push. Mel was 18 and needed to start telling others what she wanted. She is such a passive child. This passivity worries me.
As I waited for her to step up to the plate, I researched. I researched and learned you can get a driver’s license with a 40 MPH restriction. I was happy with this plan. Plan B would work. Mel only really needed to get to college and back (2 miles from home). Mel graduated June 2014. She still was not driving. College was starting in August. That left only a few months to get Mel driving. If the only option was a restricted license, I was on board with this option. I decided to push for this plan. Mel, was not happy with this plan. She did not want to take the behind the wheel test twice. She was stalling. She did not want to drive. In addition, she did not want to take the special transportation bus provided by the city. I was confused. I was worried. I needed help in making this decision.
I stalled….. I made waiting on pick ups a part of Mel’s life. The taxi service provided by her parent’s was no longer going to be convenient. Mel did not budge. She did not drive. I remained confused, anxious.
I decided I needed to find a better plan.
When Mel turned 17, I had enrolled her in DARS. I called the DARS office and discussed options. I discovered, they would pay for Driver’s Education Training. YEA-PLAN C. DARS called me back several weeks later and approved the driver’s training. They had contact with a company out of Houston. The company provided a car and would come to my home. I asked about cost and they indicated it cost about the same as the hospital based program. The best part, they come to your home.
“Plan C” started about a month age. The first part of the training was a two-hour testing period and then 10 hours of behind the wheel training. After the ten hours, Mel actually indicated, “Driving is kind of fun” PROGRESS. The second part of the training happens in three weeks. The instructor recommended 23 additional hours of training and then she will take Mel to the DPS office. The behind the wheel test can occur in their car. Mel is eager and agrees with this plan. She has confidence it will work. She talks about getting a car. She talks about driving. From my experience with her in the car, I know she can pass the test. Confidence is what she needed.
In Summary, Mel will complete her drivers training three days before college starts.
You see, I TRIED AND FAILED. I’m ok with that. Mel needed more than I could give. I found a second and third option. In the end, Mel is the winner.
Now, off to search for Mel a car.
Below are links to other blogs I wrote about driver’s education training.