Learning to drive

by carroll
(Wichita, Kansas.)

My grandson is 17 and was sweet and considerate as a child. He is bipolar and keeps postponing learning to drive, even though his parents have signed him up for classes, and even though he is very smart and can drive a golf cart, for example. He is very rebellious right now, and his somewhat older friends drive him around. Even though it will take him a long time to actually drive alone in his state, his parents want him to take this step toward independence, and at least learn. Have you heard of this? Suggestions? Carroll in Kansas.

Dear Caroll

Usually I hear the opposite from parents, that is, they are not wanting their bipolar kids to drive and the kids are pressuring them. My guess is he is anxious, if anything, or why else would he be avoiding it? Unless, of course, it is just because he wants to do the opposite of what they tell him.

In general, my perspective is teenagers are less skilled to drive than adults. They are impulsive, and often reckless, and if they have bipolar disorder, they may have side effects from the medications that impair their driving as well.

However, I also understand the parents, if they believe he is skilled and mature enough, wanting him to learn this skill. I would recommend finding out exactly what it is that is getting in the way of him doing this. Certainly, you can't make a 17 year old do anything!!

What an interesting question. Thanks for sharing.


Kristen McClure

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