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Another rite of passage – teaching my teen to drive


And now is the hard part – when he demands the car to drive off alone, by himself.  I have to keep warning him to be careful, though I’m not sure he is paying attention. This is a constant leitmotif in a parent’s life – how to let go when you are not fully ready.  My son’s first day at school, his first sleepover, the time when he first refused to hug me goodbye anymore (“it’s embarrassing, mom”), and now when he drives off alone.  This time it is not just a rite of passage or a milestone,  since the consequences of a mistake are a matter of life and death.  So I stand in the sidelines, and pray that he has learnt his lessons well, and will be careful on the road and make no mistakes – and sigh with relief when he texts me at his destination – “I reached.” And I know this will get better and easier, as time goes on, until the next milestone of his life hits me with its familiar emotions – pride at what my kid has accomplished, and a slight wrench of the heart as you realize how time has flown by….

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Gayatri Kulkarni is on the ParentEdge Editorial Panel. Her children have studied in the Indian ICSE, the International Baccalaureate and American school systems – giving her a ringside view of the pros and cons of all three systems. She has a multicultural approach to education and is interested in learning methods that stimulate a lifelong love for learning.


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