Giving them independence

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Giving them independence
Fri, 07-26-2013 - 12:14pm

You'd think I'd be used to this since it's the 2nd time around!  DD is 24 and DS is almost 18 but he will be going into senior year.  He has been driving for about a year so I am used to that by now.  Now it's more going places by himself.  He drive around our area but he really doesn't know his way out of the suburbs.  We live in a suburb of Boston (about 30 mins. away or more with traffic) and the highway system is very confusing.  He doesn't know the routes & what goes where.  I told him to study a map so he'd have a better idea of things.  One day I took him for his last pediatric checkup (and they make parents go) but we took 2 cars because then he was going to his father's house.  I told him that right at the end of the street there was the ramp to the highway that he was supposed to go on to get to his dad's and somehow he missed that ramp (and I don't know how cause it was right there) and ended up going in the opposite direction and getting off the highway and since it was so complicated for me to try to explain to him how to get back in the right direction (since we were both on cell phone, which he's not supposed to do anyway) I ended up driving to where he was & showing him.  I think I am getting him a GPS for his birthday!

And this week he is going to Boston twice (once on Mon. and tonight again) for concerts.  On Mon. I told him how to take public transportation there and I ended up picking him up at the subway station near home--tonight he is parking at the subway.  Hopefully that will go ok.  So I am just getting used to him being able to go to Boston w/ friends and yesterday he says to me "Can I go to New York w/ S?" (his friend who is a girl--that's not an issue cause he's gay)  of course no details--um, where in NY?  She apparently has relatives who live in the good part of Brooklyn.  But since he hasn't been to NYC in 6 yrs or so, I'm sure he doesn't remember how big it is, he doesn't know that Brooklyn is some distance from Manhattan, he's so clueless--he says "oh we'll take the train" not knowing that it really costs about $50 each way to take the train--uh, more like the $15 bus I think.  So I'm not sure about that one.  then he adds "Oh and for our senior trip (what senior trip, I say, like that's required?) we want to go to California.  Hilarious!  And yet I know kids who are backpacking in Europe after high school.  I remember my cousin, who lives on Long Island, was nervous about her kids taking the train into NYC with their nanny and her DH saying "you know, there are kids who actually live and go to school in NYC."  So it must run in the family.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2012
Fri, 07-26-2013 - 1:10pm

Very interesting post if you are available mybe you can take the trip, though you might have to give them independence and for him having issues with direction or to say navigation we have all been through it and we have got ourselves out of it maybe he needs to learn on his own and get out of it, as long as he has gas, and he has a phone for safety then he will be fine.

That is responsibility something that i write about  in my book as an issue that teens or young adults are faced with as they turn 18.

You can also check out my book its a simple go to guide for teens or young adults on how to deal with the real life issues they are faced with. which can be handy for them and will help you communicate if they do not communicate. Hope that helps Good Luck!

Thank YouLaughing

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Fri, 07-26-2013 - 1:11pm

LOL!  I think its hard to let go a bit, even for subsequent kids.  A GPS would be great!!  Jordyn uses her phone as a GPS, but even at the beginning of the summer when she started her camp job and was/is traveling all over the state, I was a bit nervous about it.  But she has really stepped up, always gets the map ahead of time to check out, uses her GPS as needed, etc.  I ask her to go ahead and at least text me when she makes it to her destination and she was good at the beginning of the summer, but doesn't do it much now. 

And as we all say, they need to figure it out on their own a bit, trial and error.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 07-26-2013 - 4:14pm

Ha, this all sounds so familiar!  That combination of overconfidence and cluelessness. :)  Eventually, as you remember from your DD, he'll grow into it.

We got DD a GPS as soon as she had a car to drive.  It took her a couple of tries to understand how it worked, but since then we have gotten no panicked calls of "how do I get there?" and she confidently drives wherever she needs to go.

Her senior class went to Boston (!) for a weekend, but I told her if she wanted to go then she'd have to pay for it herself.  And in the end almost no one that she knew went - they were all (including her) too busy preparing for exams.

21yo DS has a fantasy that he and a friend will drive across country next year after he graduates.  Since neither of them has a car or even a driver's license, that is indeed a fantasy - but at least at his age, he knows it.  At 18, he would have thought it entirely realistic.

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Sat, 07-27-2013 - 12:38am

There are valuable lessons learned in getting lost. And as long as they stay on major arteries, they won't get into too much trouble. Dd has driven quite a bit. We live outside of Chicago, so lots of highways and tons of traffic as well. My mom let dd drive, including getting turned around some on their cross country trek this summer. They bummed around the US, putting over 8000 miles on the car. My mom said dd did most the driving.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Sat, 07-27-2013 - 12:54am

LOL!!!!! Musiclover, this was a fun read. Teens are so clueless about things and at times it can seem like they are children inside adult size bodies, but aren’t we all to some degree? LOL

The “senior trip” brings back great memories. In late August, a few months after HS granulation, our teens decided they wanted to go on a one week “dead presidents tour” (Eisenhower, Truman, Hoover, Lincoln, Clinton, Johnson, Bush 41, libraries, Jackson’s Hermitage, King Elvis’ Graceland, Etcetera). All three sets of parents were extremely uncomfortable with four teens, with limited driving experience, out on the roads and then they ran into a minor hitch they could not overcome. (Who says god doesn’t answer prayers?) They discovered that few, if any, motels and hotels are willing to rent rooms to teens—Period. The motel and hotel folks have discovered that it is best to rent to twenty-one and up folks with credit cards; people they can sue when the room gets returned in a bombed out condition. So, like one of the other posters suggested, hubby and I went on a trip that I was certain was going to be super boring. Everybody had a good time.

The “dead presidents tour” has morphed into what we now call the “Woody Guthrie tours” of “this land is your land, this land is my land” via that “ribbon of highway.” Our vacations are directed at seeing a portion of this wonderful county.

If you’re wondering why it was sooooooooooooooooooo HOT last week, it was because we brought our weather with us to the “Bay State.” LOL We spent seven days in your state and wished we could have spent another seven. We visited Plymouth, Adams, Revere, minutemen, Kennedy Library, Cape Cod, a day trip to Nantucket, a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard, and visited the rest of New England. Woody was correct about this being a wonderful land.

Seriously, you should consider going on the “senior trip” with them. Get your DD to go on vacation with you. You all will enjoy it and it will be a wonderful memory for all of you! The teens will remember these trips for decades after we are gone.

Though we have not been there yet, California, like Massachusetts and Virginia, is a very target rich state to visit--Death Valley, Nixon and Reagan libraries, Catalina Island, Hollywiered, Getty Museum, Hurst’s Castle, Winchester Mansion, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Cable cars, Alcatraz Island, the Redwoods, etcetera.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 07-27-2013 - 3:44am

<<<There are valuable lessons learned in getting lost>>>  Yes, indeed.  Ramona, you of all, since you know the Chicagoland layout, will be able to appreciate this.

During Sr year of HS, dd2 and one of her gf's were volunteering at nighttime event at Brookfield Zoo.  Lolo had volunteed previously, and they wanted her back because she was one of the few people who fit in the Snow Lepoard costume.  Lolo was a nervous driver, so her gf was driving, and this was her first trip to the zoo.  Now this was PRE-GPS days, but dh gave them instructions  and drew them a map.  They did have their cellphones, so off they set, going north on I-55, entering from LaGrange Road. 

Then, we get a call.  "Mom, Dad, we've been on the road for  a while and we don't see the exit."  Now since it was only 1 exit from where they got on, to where they were supposed to get off, this didn't sound good.  Dh says, "Well what DO you see?"  Lolo replies, "The lake..."  Dh screams, "How long were you going to keep on driving?  Till you got WET?"

And Kelly, Rae did EXACTLY what your ds wants to do, after she graduated college.  She and then bf drove from Chicago to SF on I-80, took the coast hwy down to LA, and drove home on I-40/Rt 66, replicating the trip we all had taken when she was 16 & Lolo was 13.  We had loved the trip, and she wanted to do it again.  However, the bf unwittingly spread a blanket over a large patch of poison ivy while drawing at Big Sur.  And when he wrapped the blanket up, he got the oil on his hands, and his face, and his legs the next time he sat on it...  And he didn't know what was happening, just that he had this rash that kept spreading nad spreading...  He ended up in the ER, in St Louis.  Good thing Rae thought the blanket was nasty, and refused to go near it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 07-27-2013 - 3:04pm

Oh Kimmy, you were in my neighborhood and I didn't get to meet you. :(  If you went to the John Adams house, that's the next town from where I live.  I have been to all the MA places that you listed, except it's been a while since I went to the islands.  I don't think I'd want to go on a vacay w/ other people's kids but I still like going w/ my own kids--luckily they will still go w/ me.  Last summer when we visited DD in Baltimore she was quite the tour guide and also took us to Annapolis wich I really liked.  We might go there again if I can scrape up some money--I do not get to see DD enough!  Did the babies go on the trip with you?

The motel thing reminds me of a vacation I took w/ the girls from high school to Cape Cod--back then I lived in Providence, so it was only an hour away.  I think there were 4 of us sharing a room.  So my friend's mother made the reservation with her credit card (teens didn't have credit or debit cards in those days) and probably didn't tell the guy that it was a bunch of girls so he looked at us very suspiciously and said "who is Evelyn?" and my friend says "oh that's my mom." So then the guy just gave us a lecture about no drinking in the room, which was odd cause the legal drinking age in those days was 18 and at least some of us were 18--and he wanted to know what we had in the cooler.  We showed him that we had a bunch of snacks and soda and I guess he figured we were a bunch of nerds so he said ok.  It was a fun weekend--eating a lot, going to the pool and beach, etc.  I think that was the 1st time I went anywhere w/o adult supervision.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 07-27-2013 - 3:05pm

Sabrtooth, this reminds me of the stories of people who follow their GPS and end up driving into a lake or through a road that has been closed or into a ditch and say "well I was following the GPS!"  I guess common sense and looking out the window also would be helpful.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Sat, 07-27-2013 - 11:27pm

Oh yes, we are traveling with the soon to be “big brothers.” The parents of both oldest and youngest SIL joined us for Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard before we drove on up north into Vermont, NH, and Maine. The parents of oldest SIL let us come up about a week earlier in their nine passenger Suburban and they and youngest SILs parents came up in our Explorer, along with youngest SILs two year old niece (her parents both work while she is usually at our house for daycare). It’s a fun group to travel with.

We are doing our best to stimulate the economy of New England. LOL Lest anybody think were rich, we’re staying in all the finer hotels like MOTEL 6, eating breakfast from a box, lunch from a cooler, and where is the cheapest place for dinner? This is really slumming for our inlaw couther parts. LOL But they’re game for the experience. LOL Their main interest is in the natural beauty. And New England has that FOR SURE!

Somewhere in Ohio, a family came home from vacation, found that their keys did not open the locks, and all their belongings were gone. It seems that the GPS directed the bank to the wrong house. It seems that the foreclosure was to have been carried out on the house across the street. OOPSE!!! Hope that doesn’t happen to us. LOL

Back a few days ago when I was a teenager in college (OK, way more than a quarter of a century ago, LOL), I went down to South Padre Island for spring break a few times. The nightly room rate was like $300 plus the 12% tax and they rented rooms only by the week. They required payment in full when booking the room, which usually had to be paid in October or November, along with a mere $500 per guest damage deposit, which also had to be paid in October or November. Cancelation was at their discretion. Occupancy was limited to four and you signed an agreement that if more than four were discovered to be staying in your room, you would be blocked out without refund of the remaining room rent. When you left at the end of the week, a uniformed security person would escort a housekeeper to your door for a final inspection of the room. If she was satisfied, she gave you a clearance receipt for your signature and then you could leave. It listed any deficiencies if their were any. As she left the room she slid a card into the card lock that made your room cards invalid. About a month later you received a refund of the room damage deposit in the mail, less any damage charges. (There motto was like, IN GOD WE TRUST, BUT ALL OTHERS PAY CASH IN ADVANCE!!! And if you don’t like it, FINE, don’t come.) Also, when you arrived they banded your wrist so that uniformed security could limit who got on the elevators and a uniformed security officer stood outside the fire exits on the ground floor. Nowadays, the kids fly off to Cancun, Cabo, Jamaica, etcetera. I have no clue as to how those folks protected their property, but I assume they do something similar during spring break.

When you stand at Plymouth, Jamestown, Independence Hall, the homes of Washington, Jefferson, and Adams, Valley Forge, Yorktown, etcetera, you can’t help but feel goose bumps as you realize what occurred there. You’re standing where giants stood only a little while ago. With no disrespect to any current political figure, you wonder if any of them would have had the courage to float across the ocean and become the first European Americans? Would they have been among the signers of that declaration? Would I?

One thing about driving with the young adults is that they share lots of things with you while you’re driving long distances on the first and last couple of days. Oh, the secrets that become known. LOL

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Sun, 07-28-2013 - 8:51am
LOL - better off going to Lincoln Park from there!