Fahrschule – The Joy of Being the Mother of a New Teenage Driver

By Corinna Bienger on Email

I love my daughter dearly. She is the “bestest” child ever and I would do anything for her!  No, not that I would, I DO do everything for her. There is nothing she can do to get on my nerves, and there is nothing she ever WOULD do to get on my nerves. Or so I thought. That is, until she started taking driving lessons.

In Germany, in order to even attempt getting a driver’s license, you have to enroll in a driving school. First, you learn theoretical stuff and there is an obligatory number of at least 12 hours you have to take before you can take the theory test. Then follows the practice.

In our case, in order to avoid paying for a few first driving lessons, in which my daughter would have to learn how to shift gears and look out the window at the same time, I took her to a traffic training course, where it is allowed to practice driving without a license. That went very well, and after she took some more private “lessons” with friends in a parking lot, she took her first “official” driving lesson in driving school. Her instructor took her on a 15k-drive in the first hour and told her that she is doing very well. We hope that she will only have to take around 20-25 hours before taking the practical test before receiving her driver’s license, although the average seems to be 35-40. The compulsory number of practical driving lessons is also 12, but those apply only for Autobahn and country road driving, so an additional amount of driving lessons – dependent on the ability of the student to drive – has to be taken for city driving, usually quite a few driving hours have to be added to the 12 obligatory ones.

Since her very first practical lesson, my baby now sits in my car next to me, calling my attention to those things I do wrong when driving, because, of course, now she is a driving expert. She tells me when I go through the lights a wee bit late. She tells me when I turn the corner just a bit too narrow. She also tells me when I drive too fast. Or too slow. Or that I almost hit that person on the roadside.

I do love my daughter. Really, I do. But sometimes – just sometimes, I have to pull myself together nowadays. Soon she will have her own drivers licence and SHE will be driving ME around.  Will I be cool and relaxed in the passenger seat, or will I be the one telling her when she goes through the lights a wee bit late, or when she turns the corner just a bit too narrow…….?

Photo: mroach via flickr

Corinna Bienger