Impatient Driving Instructor Father!!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2003
Impatient Driving Instructor Father!!!!
8
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 7:31pm
I'm 26 and working toward getting my driver's license. I took the road test twice last summer--knew I wasn't ready, but oh, Dad's schedule came first and I "had" to take it when I did for that reason. I failed the test both times because I couldn't parallel park well enough. I just started driving again last week and will take the test this next time when *I'M* ready.

My vent/rant/moan for you all: How do I learn to drive when I'm constantly being yelled at and berated? And everyone who knows me has known since I was a child: If you have a point to make, don't YELL it because I feel like I'm going to start bawling the second anyone yells at me or even around me--Besides, I've always been infinitely harder on myself than anyone else is on me. I KNOW when I'm doing something wrong and I feel bad enough--I don't need him pointing it out to me ad nauseum at top volume while I even more nervously drive. But no, my own father appraently doesn't understand this after the first 26 years of my life, so the entire time I'm driving--yelling and snapping.



And signaling to other drivers what I'M about to!! That was the best tonight--We're at a 4-way stop, the other driver stops and waves--I see that he's giving me the right of way, so I DRIVE FORWARD, and meanwhile, my DAD IS WAVING AT HIM TO GO TOO!!! Since when does the passenger decide for the driver????? We could have been in a collision, arghh!! :(



So, I try to "handle" it now by immeditaley saying out loud what I did wrong when I do something wrong--to beat him to the insult, basically. But no, even if I say, "Oops, should have started braking earlier." He doesn't agree and let it go, no! He yells and rants and lectures for the next 10 minutes about that very fact. Uh, duh, did I myself not say that already, Dad? And how is YELLING going to help me drive calmly? or concentrate???

He KNOWS the entire reason I put off driving in the first place 10 years ago is my best friends' car accident/death--She was 17 and on her way to pick me up for school and for some unknown reason, went off the road and hit a tree. It totally freaked me out, to say the least, andI didn't even feel safe in cars as a PASSENGER until 2 years ago--as he and eevryone who knows me well knows. So, everytime he yells at me or berates me, it sounds to me like he's also implying that I didn't learn anything from what happened to her--and/or that I don't take driving seriously. If anything, I take it TOO seriously. :( Why can't he just be patient???



There's no one else to learn to drive with, *really*, so changing "teachers" is not an option.



And better, eevry night after driving practice, when we get home, he tells my mother what I guess is supposed to be a funny, souped-up version of what he calls my driving "adventures." Exaggerating every damn thing and LAUGHING at me--yeah, Dad, it's funny that driving scares me this much, thanks, real nice--, then calls my brothers and his best friend to tell THEM. Like it's all a big joke. He gets home from work, eats, yells while I drive, makes fun of me to others, then watches TV and goes to bed. NICE. Every night.



And obviously, he and I have no real relationship in the first place, which makes this so much harder. I'm just sick of it, and it gets HARDER for me every night instead of easier....How will I ever be ready to take the test again?? :( One shouldn't be on the verge of tears constantly while operating a vehicle. Arghhhhhh. :(

Any words of encouragement or how-to-stay-calm-while-driving advice? I've bought and read--and am always rereading--a bunch of "new driver" books, I bought a video about the road test and watch that a lot, I post and read on a couple new driver message boards for advice and tips, I practice regardless, I ask questions, I try to stay calm....I feel like I'm doing SO WELL--which is why this hurts so much--and am making such an obvious and BRAVE effort here....Her death has been such a hard thing to work through...Why can't my own father say those magic words: "You know, honey, I'm really proud of you. I know this scares you and you have bad associations with it, but you keep trying, and I admire you for that. Some people would give up--especially after the first two road test attempts--, but YOU haven't." blah blah blah....It just hurts so much. :( And I'm NOT a bad driver...There are things that need improvement--and I *will* improve with time and practice like any other new driver--, but I'm a good driver overall...Why can't be just be nice and patient and understanding??? I'm his DAUGHTER!!!! :( :( :( :(

Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 9:27pm
Old habits are hard to break, if you even try to break them. I know how you feel. Mom tells me not to yell, when she's actually yelling at me. So I yell back. Then I tell her: WHO DO YOU THINK TAUGHT ME HOW TO YELL? She says: from me. :)

If your dad doesn't have MUCH PATIENCE, he's probably having a nervous breakdown every time he becomes a passenger, and high blood preasure here's my advice: have someone who trusted you and YOU TRUST them to teach you driving. Then, when your dad's at work, sneak out to the DMV and take your driver's license. You can surprise him that YOU'VE GOT IT, and it will save both of YOU some yelling while driving the other over the edge! ! ! ! Maybe they even let you drive THEIR CAR. GOOD LUCK TO YOU.

Was it you who wanted to get a driver's license, or was it YOUR DAD'S IDEA so you can do errands for them? You're right, yelling at someone while they're trying to learn and concentrate is the worst thing you can do. You both could get into a wreck, because he's STRESSING YOU OUT. One more thing: it's hard to learn how to drive if your husband or another relative teach you who makes you nervouse. I learned from another friend! Dh makes me nervous, even now! I can't stand his driving.

P.S. everyone (including me) flunk their paraller parking the first time! So cheer up.

Leslie

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2003
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 9:36pm
Thank you, Leslie, for the kind words--But as I said, there really isn't anyone else avilable to practice with me. I really have to somehow just make the best of it with my father as long as this goes on. *sigh* Thanks again.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 1:51am
Unless you live somewhere completely cut-off from the rest of the world, there has GOT to be someone else who can teach you to drive! your mother or brothers? Dad's friend? neighbor? friend? co-worker? minister? retired handy-man looking for some extra cash income? If you can't find a volunteer or a driver's instruction school in your town, then put an ad in the paper and HIRE somebody. ANYbody besides your DAD!

The worst possible people to teach an adult how to drive are - first, your spouse - and second, your parents. Emotions are too high. You really need to find an outsider to do this with. Really. FIRE your Dad.

I have two sisters-in-law, ages 41 and 39, who have never learned to drive - because they can't stand to learn with Dad in the passenger seat (does exactly like your Dad does), and their brother (my husband) is even worse than Dad. They could get a friend to help, but aren't as determined as you are to succeed. They find it easier to just ride the bus and call Dad for the free taxi service. I offered to teach them, but suddenly they find excuses why they don't have time. (and I'm a good driver.) (sigh)

Good luck!

Msfit

                  &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 10:34am
At age 34, I had to learn to drive all over again, this after not having had a car where I lived for 10 years. What did I do? I looked in the phone book, found a driving school, and signed up for lessons. Initially, my (now) husband would take me out driving, and even though we have a GREAT relationship, he is NOT a teacher, and I would ultimately always get upset with him (and vice versa) when we went driving. You need an instructor, someone who does this for a living, who is impartial and objective, and who won't humiliate or confuse you when you are out driving. I can't remember how much I paid for the lessons, but they were worth EVERY cent. This particular driving school would come to pick me up for my lesson, and then drop me off as well. You need to cut your father out of this equation altogether, or just put up with it long enough to finally pass your test. Good luck.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 1:08pm
Some people are good driving instructors and some aren't.

My dad is a horrible driving instructor and I wouldn't even drive while he was in the car for the first year that I had my license because he made me so nervous. He tried to teach two of my aunts to drive - they are significantly younger than him. It went terribly. One got out of the car mid lesson and walked home and the other wouldn't even BE in the same car with him for quite awhile afterwards. My mom ended up teaching them both to drive. When it was time for me to get my license, my mom taught me to drive and she was a great teacher. Everyone told me, do not go out practicing with my dad because he yells, gets all uptight, and it just isn't a good idea.

So my advice is to find someone else to teach you. If you don't have any friends or family who can do it, enroll in a driving school. It will be worth the money.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 3:02pm
I had to laugh at your post. I actually went with my sons when they were learning but when they went with my husband - I thought they were going to kill one another. I know what my husband is like - when I learned to drive I went to a driving school. My husband sounds like your Dad - he knows everything!!!

I think like the other posters say - go to a driving school - your Dad is your Dad is he isn't going to change - you may end up in an accident!!

Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 3:41pm
Exactly - thinks he knows everything about driving, but too impatient to share the knowledge. My dad does know a lot about driving - he used to be in the highway patrol years ago and with his current career, he frequently has to drive large vehicles all over the place, so he has his class A license. He's just not a good teacher when it comes to driving.

My mom, OTOH, is very level headed and very patient. The summer that I was learning to drive, we were on a family vacation up in the Sierras - we always spent a week at a cabin at a lake. My mom and I were going into town, so she let me drive. We were on this curvey mountain road and a great big logging truck came roaring up behind us - you know how they do. I freaked out "oh my god mom, there's a huge truck, what do i do!?!" My mom didn't even break stride, she just said in a normal voice to keep driving normally until I saw a turn out and then pull over and let the truck pass. I was really stressed, sure that this truck was going to run us off the road - all I could see in my rear view mirror was the grill of that big ol truck. We came up on a turnout, so my mom told me to put on my signal and pull over. I did and as the truck went by the driver did a honk-honk thank-you and waved - real nice guy. We got back on the road and everybody was happy. I can only imagine how different that would have been if my dad had been in the car with me. I probably would have crashed into a tree.

Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 11:39pm
But aren't there any DRIVING SCHOOL you can attend? They furnish the car, and take you for your test. Good luck!