Taking The Wheel When Training Your Kids

My childhood friend came to Lagos from the U.S for the holidays with her entire family and we were comparing notes. A part of our conversation stayed with me into the New Year. She told me how her 6 year old was beginning to ask questions and make statements that she felt were too advanced for her age specifically, about getting behind the wheels of her car.

Soon after school began, after the summer vacation, she declared that as the oldest child she was ready to learn how to drive. On one of the occasions she was trying to convince her mum to let her learn to drive. Her strongest argument was she would ease the burden of driving off her parents especially at the end of the working day.

My response was when my 10 year old was the same age, I had to teach my youngest sister how to drive and often put her in the vehicle. One evening, she asked why we weren’t going on our rides. I told her, her aunt didn’t need any more lessons. She spent the next 20 minutes trying to convince me that after sitting in the car for so many days she should be taught how to drive. Knowing it was a battle of wits, I simply put her behind the wheel of my vehicle and enabled her appreciate the fact that her feet could not access the accelerator. That was the end of that discussion. My friend acknowledged that if she had thought along those lines she would have saved herself a considerable amount of energy debating with her 6 year old.

On my bedside couch, I remembered my grandmother’s favourite sayings “someone close to you is going through what you are going through or worse.’’ Learning from those around us is extremely key to simplifying our lives, giving us more resources (time and energy) to tackle the more important things. Maybe that is why most of the sermons in church these days are more about surviving everyday life than the mysteries of the creator and the supernatural. Most women must engage each other and not re-invent the wheel to drive down the highway of life.

Oh, my friend did have another conversation with her little girl. That cold Saturday evening, she put her daughter behind the wheel in her SUV and explained why she had to wait till she gets to high school to learn to drive. After taking off her coat in the house my friend receives one of the warmest embraces she could remember since becoming a mother. ‘’I am very glad you are my mummy, Mummy. You are the wisest mummy in the world.’’ Yes, you definitely do not have to become a 22nd century Henry Ford or Karl Benz to cruise smoothly down the highway called life.