I recently published a tweet about teaching my kids to drive which resulted in a lot of backlash from people. There’s only so much you can convey in a tweet and they can be easily mis-intepreted.
It does look unwise and stupid at first sight but consider this. The kid sits on my lap. I have the pedals under my control. While my kid is handling the steering wheel, I have my hands close to it at all times. I can quickly take control of the wheel any second. We keep to the left lane most of the time and drive slow. I have been teaching the little basics of driving in the quiet lanes of my neighbourhood for a few years now.
You would be amazed how many small but critical details that kids learn about driving. They now know why it’s important to use turn indicators, why it’s important to slow down when they see kids play in the distance, why one should never overtake during a curve or the importance of using the rear-view and side mirrors. I could go on with lots more examples. Try teaching them orally and they will become easily bored. But make the do things and you’ll notice how engaged they become.
When I was a kid, my dad would make me sit on his lap while he drove. He never let me touch the steering wheel at first. Then slowly, he would let me handle the wheel when the roads are safe. At almost every instant, he would correct my mistakes and give me tips to improve. I’m extremely proud of my safe driving skills. I consider myself a really good driver only because I learnt it early and learnt it good.
I’m a big believer in ‘involvement learning’ where kids are encouraged to learn by doing. When my elder daughter showed interest in story books, she dabbled her hands at writing a story on her own. She has authored two books now. When we repaint our home this month, it will be my kids who will have the freedom to pick up the brush and paint the walls just the same way they had the freedom to scribble on them.
Yes, I’ll continue to engage my kids and help them learn.