Do you know a teen who is not interested in driving? This was unheard of when I was a teenager (gulp! 35 years ago). But today seems to be remarkably different. I have talked to people who have teenage and even early 20 age children who have no interest in learning to drive, and most of them are boys! My own son had to be forced to get his license; I was determined to be through with chauffeuring. To me this is in the ‘twilight zone’ area, I don’t understand what is happening.
When I was young, getting your driver’s license was like receiving a ‘get-out-of jail’ card; Freedom beckoned. I would yell “I’ll be back in an hour” and I would hit the road. I did not have to have a destination; just driving was its own reward. I would drive down roads I had never been on. I would try to get lost and this was before cell phones and GPS so there was a good chance I might actually get lost! It was exciting. I lived south of Houston at the time and sometimes I would drive down to Galveston just to smell the salt water!
But nowadays, my son and apparently many others, don’t get that feeling of freedom or that sense of adventure.
A part of this may be attributed to gameboys, books and movies in the car. No one looks out the window anymore for entertainment. The child can’t find their way around their own neighborhood.
A year before he received his learner’s permit my husband and I would quiz our son about where we were when driving and he never had a clue. I was worried that my very smart son was going to get a license then never be able to figure out how to get anywhere! Then I was talking with a friend, Sue, and the subject got turned to our teens and she volunteered that she was frustrated with her daughter who wanted to drive herself to an event happening at a small town 100 miles away and the mother was saying ‘No Way!” She explained that “M… couldn’t find her way to the grocery store”! A year before getting her learner’s permit, Sue had a relative stay with her daughter while Sue and her husband were gone for a week. One morning the relative mentioned to Sue that she was going to take M… to visit a friend. Sue said ‘let me give you directions’ but the relative assured her that they could find the house. Well the relative had to call back because after they backed out of the drive, M… couldn’t even tell her which way to turn down her own street!
So do yourself a favor and ditch the kid’s gameboys, books, movies and even MP3 players and make them find entertainment out the window, maybe they will learn some local geography in the process.
However there may also be another part to this no interest, it may be a feeling of ‘been there, done that’. A hundred years ago, shoot, 75 years ago, driving was new, different, fascinating. Those who lived back then learned the new technology. If these same souls are coming back now, driving may be something to be taken for granted, it is a ‘yeah, so what, I’ve already done that’ in the experiences of life. And worse than that, there may be some residual dislike if the soul had been killed or involved in a bad car crash.
My husband thinks there may be a link to the driving aversion and indigo kids that were being born in mass in the 90’s. I have not investigated that possibility. If anyone else can shed some light on the topic your input would be appreciated.
What ever the cause there is a definite shift in the mentality of young drivers.