Great Expectations

Great Expectations

I read a very sad testament from a young teacher who left the profession of teaching, not because of the money which is the assumption that most people will make.  She left because she had to for her own well-being and sanity. In her testament she talks about what many say, “kids are different today.”  Her point was kids are kids and how they behave has nothing to do with “the kids today.”  What’s changed is the parents  and the lack of parenting.  Too many parents want their kids to “like them” and be “their friend.”  That’s not our job.  A quote from my friend and founder of M.A.S.K., Kimberly Cabral: “Parenting is not about giving our child what they want, but providing them what they need.”  Being their friend, particularly now, while they are still in very formative years, is not in their best interest.  It may be much easier for you and it may make you feel better, but it isn’t going to give your child what they need.
Too many parents place unrealistic expectations on educators and on their children.  It’s not a teacher’s job to raise your child.  It’s your job, and now, there is not nearly enough of that and the ones that are paying the highest price is the children. More and more kids are dealing with anxiety and depression.  The suicide rates are skyrocketing while more and more pressure is placed on kids to perform, be the best, do what is expected of them vs. finding their way and determining what they want and need in life.  When I think about the role of parents whether it is when they are learning to walk, ride a bike, swim, play a sport, drive a car, our role as parents it is to provide them with guidance, patience, and love.  Doing what they need in their time, not ours.  When did this trend of constant pressure and anxiety start?

Unfortunately, we have a similar situation and it seems that every year it gets worse.  DrivingMBA has been in operation for 16 years and it’s getting harder and harder to get through the summer with our integrity and our sanity in-tact.  I have never been so frustrated with the lack of ability for parents to comprehend “this isn’t some box that gets checked off on their checklist on summer break, squeezed in before they are off on vacation and before school starts again!”  It’s great that parents and kids are taking wonderful trips and exploring the world, but trying to cram driver’s ed in before is just plain stupid, not to mention dangerous.  I feel like a broken record and I’m getting tired of repeating: “this is a process” that is driven by the student, not by their age, their expectations or their parents expectations, or some arbitrary timeline.  It is based on readiness, plain and simple.

I can honestly say, you will not find another driving school that will challenge you on this topic.  This may be good or bad news, depending on how you look at it.  You want your kid to finish in a week or two most of the schools will be happy to oblige you, we will  not.  We will try to accommodate your needs within reason.  If your expectation is you are “buying a license” or a “guarantee” that your student will pass the test, you would be mistaken.  If your expectation is that you will send your student to DrivingMBA and we will prepare them to be on the road without your involvement, you would be mistaken.  If you expectation is that they WILL be ready for their license on a date of your choosing, perhaps their 16th birthday, you could very well be mistaken.  We are closing in on the end of July, and some teachers and students are already back to school.  The summer has flown by as it always does and then everyone will be focused on “back to school.”  Remember, that while school and extra-curricular activities are very important in a teen’s life, making sure they are ready and able to handle the roads with knowledge, skill and competence built over time, can be the difference between them moving into adulthood in one piece or at all.  Not everyone’s kid makes it past high school or college.  Some don’t come home for all sorts of reasons.  As Tim Hollister, father of Reid Hollister, who lost his life to a car crash in 2006, author of the 1st edition of “Not So Fast” and co-author of the 2nd edition of the book, asked this question:  “How much do you want to roll the dice and push the odds in your favor?”  Because at the end of the day, that is the best you are going to be able to do.

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