April Ziemer

April Ziemer

have decided that being a parent is really like folding a fitted sheet, no one really knows how. The latest endeavor that Josh and I are facing is our oldest daughter starting Driver’s Ed.  If only teaching her to drive was as easy as handing her a crayon as a toddler and telling her to just stay in the lines.

I used to worry a lot when she was little. As I think about her jumping behind the wheel and taking off down the road, I would give anything for my worries to go back to consisting of how long she has napped or how actually clean her Sippy cup was. 

As most parents know, life with a teenager is a constant struggle of wanting our children to stay our babies forever and being excited for all of the amazing things their future lives have in store for them. 

I wish that our precious girl could only see what a sweet moment of bonding our driving time together could be. It should be a peaceful time where I tell her exactly what to do and she does it. 

There is no need for the radio to be on. All her darling little ears need is the sound of my direction, and all my ears need is the sound of her repeatedly thanking me for all of my knowledge. 

The best guidance would probably come from having both Josh and I giving her instruction. She could benefit from having one of us on each side of her, gently pointing out the appropriate steps to life behind the wheel.

 You may be wondering how I intend for one of us to be on each side of her? Her dad can give his advice from the passenger seat and since she needs to understand that there is no need to drive fast, I will walk alongside the car and give my recommendations through the driver’s window. 

On second thought, that is ABSURD! I will sit and my husband will walk alongside the car.

Apparently even if you think you’re being calm, your teen may not see it that way. I read about a survey asking teens what parents could do better, they said, “Tell them not to yell at us.” Robert Foss, at the Center of the Study of Young Drivers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, cited a study that used in-vehicle video cameras to capture parent-teen interactions.

 Some teens later described their parents as yelling at them even when they hadn’t raised their voices. This sounded eerily familiar to me.

I wish she could have an open mind. She doesn’t need to get so offended by the fact that I want to wrap her (and myself) in bubble wrap. She should look at it as a fashion statement. I know that if I even try to tell her that air bubbles are all the rage right now, I will get “the look.” 

This is a look often given by the teenage species. I have given the stare the scientific name of offendembarrassanger. It is the glare given by children ranging in age from 13-19 when their parents so very intentionally offend, embarrass and anger them all at the same time. I am not sure why she gives me the look so often. When I was a teenager, my parents deserved the look. But I like to think of myself as a hip, happening and trendy mom and I do not think it can be justified that she flashes that perturbed glance at me as often as she does.

In all honesty, it will actually be nice to have some assistance with carting around the other kids to their various activities. I do not want her to feel nervous about driving. I hope she remains calm, confident and cautious. Because we love her, we will continue to do everything we can to make sure she is really ready to drive. We are going to keep coaching her until the day the DMV has decided it is finally time for her to receive her license and she is allowed to drive alone. In fact, we will continue to offer our guidance beyond that as well, after all we are her parents and if we didn’t nag she would think there was something wrong.

I enjoy sharing my thoughts with you and look forward to readers sharing their thoughts in return.

Feel free to email me at editor@theameryfreepress.com, write me at P.O. Box 424, Amery WI. 54001 or I can be reached by phone at 715-268-8101.



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