Teaching your child how to drive? Bad idea!

Published: April 8, 2013
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One thing I do know is this: when I get back on the road (soon!) it will be with a driving instructor by my side. Not mom or dad, for sure.

A few years ago, I crashed our car onto a footpath as I was learning how to drive by the beautiful, empty stretch along the sea.

My father was in the passenger seat and I maintain, to this day, that he should be held more responsible than me.

Is this tossing of blame typical, youthful insolence on my part?

Perhaps, to an extent, but hear me out.  Parents can certainly do a lot of things, wear many hats, but there are some tasks you just need to call in the professionals for. In my case, it was learning how to drive.

Yes, I know most people learn to steer the wheel, weave in and out of jam packed, nerve-wracking traffic, and even parallel park on their own, or with minimal help. Yet, in retrospect, it’s clear we should have realised that for someone who had never attempted to drive — and honestly, never even felt the slightest desire to — a skilled teacher was necessary.

My father is a great driver, no doubt about it.

However, having been on the road for decades, these skills are almost intrinsically embedded into his psyche. While instructing me on my very first day (the day of the accident), he kept assuming that I would understand basic directives. Obviously, I didn’t. He was frustrated, I was flustered. In my mind, the accelerator became the brake, approaching cars became bullet trains, and before I knew it, the vehicle was hinged upon a sidewalk, a foot off the ground.

The car was seriously damaged, but not more so than my motivation to drive. I have not tried again and I feel restricted in my mobility every single day. What I would do in case of an emergency, I don’t know.

One thing I do know is this: when I get back on the road (soon!) it will be with a driving instructor by my side. Not mom or dad, for sure.

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Ayesha R Siddiqi

Ayesha R Siddiqi

A Features sub-editor on the national desk and a University of Chicago alum. She tweets @twitter.com/ayeshars88

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

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