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.


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!

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: 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.

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