Home » About Me » In which I noticed something strange

In which I noticed something strange

When I was in high school, I didn’t know one kid who couldn’t wait to get her driver’s license. We all took driver’s ed at school, got our learner’s permits as soon as we could, and did our best to schedule our license appointments as close to our sixteenth birthdays as possible. It was just a thing….that freedom….we all couldn’t wait for it. Even if a kid didn’t have immediate access to a vehicle, he’d still get his license as soon as it was allowed by law. I grew up in a small town – a license allowed one to cruise, to actually even escape to the next, larger town, and if you were of a mind, it allowed you to get out to the “far out country” to party in the gravel pits (I wasn’t a partier in high school, so never experienced those infamous gravel pits).

Something seems to have changed over the years, because I know a ton of kids at my kids’ high school who have seemingly zero interest in getting their licenses.  Seriously, wth? It makes  no sense to me. You’d think they’d all be like we were – so ready for that freedom of being able to drive themselves where they need and want to go. But no….

Big Man turned sixteen nearly six months ago. He will finally take his license test at the end of February. Now his is a different circumstance – we held getting his permit over his head to push him to get his grades up. Doesn’t seem it was much incentive. I finally caved, knowing I was punishing myself more than I was punishing him. I know boys older than him who don’t have their permits yet, and some just now getting their licenses. One of my friends has a daughter who’s a Senior – she doesn’t have her license, and doesn’t want it.

I’ve been trying to figure this out. Why don’t they seem to care about this typical teenage milestone? Is it the parents, or the kids? Is it because we’ve just gotten into the habit of doing so much for our kids, it doesn’t seem to matter? Are we part of the entitlement problem, enabling our kids to disregard learning how to drive because we simply take them everywhere? Are they so used to, and fond of, us having total control? Or is that one on us as parents?

Like I said, Big Man will test for his license the end of this month. Am I nervous about him taking the wheel by himself? Of course I’m nervous, but you know what? I can’t wait…I can’t wait to not have to drop three kids off at school at three different times. I can’t wait to not have to pick him up from school, take him to the golf course, and then wait for his text they’re on the last hole to go pick him up. I can’t wait to have one more driver in the house to help with errands and getting his siblings where they need to go, when they need to get there, without  me losing my mind.

Do you have kids old enough to get their driver’s licenses? Do they have them? Do they care? What’s your take on this situation?

11 thoughts on “In which I noticed something strange

  1. My first son had his license about a month after his 16th birthday. My other son had his license about 6 months after his 16th. They both wanted them but I think it was my husband and I that talked about what a great thing it was (we both had ours on our birthdays also!). But I know my boys were the first among their peer groups to get their licenses. Many (boys and girls) did not get their licenses until a year or more after their 16th. My son is 18 now and I can say that all his friends now have their license. My other son is 16 (17 in April) and has MANY friends that don’t have it. I think some of them weren’t motivated and their parents didn’t mind driving them around. I am with you though and I loved it when they finally had it!!

  2. Maybe the kids are more environmentally friendly now? I suppose it depends what they’re taught in school along with what they hear on TV about carbon emissions.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  3. I don’t know why, but I’ve noticed the same thing!
    My eldest daughter didn’t get her license until 21! She did the course and all that, but no one could MAKE her get her license. She said it was too scary. Before you know it, she was on her own at school, had her own money, and we had even less chance of motivating her. My nephew is 21, with a license, and has no interest in buying a car. I don’t get it.
    I complain about it all the time, hoping the younger ones are more like their brother, cause let me tell you, I don’t love driving and no one can MAKE me taxi them around!
    The boy one, he drives and was quick to it — but like many Millennials, he chose an apartment that would allow him to walk or cycle to school and work. Maybe they’re far more ecological?
    I don’t know. If anyone does know, they should tell us, old curious people!

  4. I’m one of those late to get my license. It was a very long time ago but I was 18 or 19 years old. My reason was a family member was always willing to give me a ride or I rode my bike.

    • Maybe it has to do with where you grew up? We didn’t have much of a public transpiration system in my town. You walked, rode a bike, got a ride, or drove.

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