Teens Learn the Hard Way that Parents Are Always Right

By Bryan Hess –

When I was learning to drive, I had to choose which one of my parents I wanted to teach me.  I knew my mom would be a nervous wreck behind the wheel, and that every five minutes I would hear some form of “I can’t believe my little boy is growing up.” My dad on the other hand, is a very calm person and I knew that he would be quiet and let me learn things on my own as I went.   By the time I got my permit, it was an easy decision as to who would be my driving instructor – my dad.

As soon as I got my permit, my dad took me to a back road to practice.  My dad gave me the breakdown of what I needed to do, and how to do it.  I was driving stick, so I needed a little bit more practice time than I would had I decided to take the easy way out and drive automatic.  Once I thought I had mastered the art of driving, I make the decision to drive home.  Throughout this time my dad remained quiet, giving me some advice now and then.

Bryan Hess. Photo by Corbin Gillichbauer.

Driving was going smoothly until I encountered my first hill.  I stalled the car, and I was completely embarrassed.  I panicked and had no idea what to do.  It was the first time my dad had gotten upset.  I lost my cool and we got into a little argument.  As the typical teenager, I blamed him for not properly preparing me.  After I got the car going and drove for a little bit, he smiled and said “I bet you’ll never stall again.”

My dad was right.  He knew that by making a fool out of myself that I would learn to never make that particular mistake again.  Throughout my six months of driving, I had to learn the hard way that parents are almost always right.  My dad has been driving for many more years than I have, and there would be times where I would try to go against his teachings, but I ended up being wrong every time.

And this doesn’t just relate to driving.  If my dad ever gives me advice about anything anymore I listen to him without contest, most of the time.  I’ll still have my disputes with him, just as any kid does with his parents.  But throughout learning to drive, I learned that not only does my dad know a lot about driving, he knows a lot about everything.  Parents always tell their kids that “they’ve been through it before” and that’s why we should listen to them.  And just as every other kid, I ignored that and tried to tell them they don’t know anything.

Once again, I was wrong.