When my eldest beast was about to turn 15 I realized I could probably use his learner’s permit as a new point of leverage. Whoa — was I wrong. Apparently not all teens are as pumped about driving as we were back in the day. I found an article that says less than a 1/3 of teens age 16 have their licenses… so now where’s my leverage?
At first I was pleased that he chose parent-taught driver’s ed over the $400 driving school. Then, I realized he chose parent-taught because he was in no rush — so much so that he wouldn’t start the online modules. I realized, the driver’s ed was leverage for HIM, not me….
Switch tactics. Once his 15th birthday came and went, I knew I had to take action. This kid was going to do his online modules and get his learner’s permit!!! So I sweetly walked into his room a week or so after his birthday had passed and this is what I shared with him:
Me, “It’s funny. I was thinking, I bet you didn’t know how much like your mom you are?”
Him, “What do you mean?”
Me, “I was just like you when I was your age. I had a friend who made me go take my driver’s test because I didn’t care about getting my license. I always had people to drive me around, so it didn’t matter to me either.”
Him, no response, silence.
Me, “I never thought about it until now, but we are more alike than I realized.” Then I walked out.
He was online doing the modules the very next day. Today, I am happy to report he drives quite willingly and recently even scolded me for not offering the keys to him before I got in to drive. I’m not saying I’m brilliant or anything, but just that the theory is true… no kid wants to be like their parent until much later in life when they realize it is inevitable. But at 15, there is no way in their mind that is ever going to happen.
And that, my friends, is leverage.
Parenting Tip: If you are aware of your own weaknesses, you can learn from those to make your kids stronger.
[Ezekiel 18:19-20 Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.]