Having to Sit in the Passenger Seat with a Student Driver
Nothing has pained me more than having to sit in the car as my teens learned to drive.
Thank God for Buddy Carr and his family business: Carr's Driving School in Point Pleasant Beach...a family business since 1957! And yes, that's their real last name :)
Years ago when the Lou & Liz Point Morning Show was much younger, we waged a Battle of the Sexes-type competition, and Lou challenged me to re-take a written and road test, with Buddy Carr of Carr's Driving School moderating.
I won't tell you who won because obviously Lou cheated. LOL!
Buddy couldn't have been nicer or more fun to have on the air. Based in Point Pleasant Beach/Boro, Buddy is one of those guys around town whom everyone loves. Everyone.
A beloved father, husband, teacher and driving instructor, I begged him way back then to please not retire before he could teach my boys how to drive. That was 12 years ago.
True to his word, Buddy was still here for my boys, and it's a good thing, too, because instead of teaching my boys to drive becoming a bonding experience with fond memories, it was pretty much HELL for them to be in a car with ME.
Does every mom scream, grab for an invisible handle, and pump a non-existent brake when their child is driving? I would start off so 'zen'.....taking deep breaths, telling the boys how much I trusted their instincts and abilities...and then I would freak out every time I'd see a crazy Jersey driver do something stupid in front of them or behind them or beside them.
Handing the reigns to Buddy Carr was the best thing to happen to my family. I don't know how he has done it all these years, but that man is not only as cool as they come, but he is such a great role model, mentor, and positive influence on teenagers (many of whom he taught in elementary school phys. ed., too!)
In fact, Buddy is one of several siblings in the Carr family, and my boys had a couple of his sisters as teachers in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, too!
There is no better investment than a good driving school, and the money you spend on as many hours as you can afford beats the drama that comes from a strung-out mom in a passenger seat while her kid is trying his best to concentrate and learn. Besides, do you really think you can teach your kids to parallel park?!
I also highly recommend a couple of hours for a refresher class near the end of that permit year. And taking the driver's test in a driving school's car doesn't hurt, either, in my opinion.
Many thanks to Buddy, Carr's Driving School, and every employee and instructor past and present there who has helped so many kids (and their parents!) along the way. And to all of the other driving schools out there who are fighting the good fight to get our teens started, hats off to you!