We are driving to a nearby city to take our new doggy to the ortho vet. On a deserted rural 4 lane divided highway I asked her to go the speed limit which is 65. I was telling how cruise control works and she started laughing and crying at the same time and kept hitting the breaks. Looked like anxiety to me.
She has always been a very cautious and kind of fearful kid. I have always been the opposite. I'm being patient but I don't get it at all. Why is she freaking out?
Also, she has always had this weird reaction to anxiety. Laughing. Tears will be running down her face and I can tell she's uncomfortable and doesn't usually seem to find the situation funny but she can't seem to stop laughing. Is this a thing? Now that DS10 is soon to be evaluated for ASD I'm looking at all of us with concerns. She has always done the hand flapping thing since she was an infant, still does. But she has friends and does well in school. I'm not trying to label her with anything but knowledge is power and I want to try to understand so I can help her with the anxiety as much as possible. Her laughing at inappropriate times can definitely be a problem. Like when someone gets hurt....or is angry with her...
Anyone seen this?
Also, prayers for driving safety would be much appreciated.
Try driving without too many distractions such as dog, Mom talking too much with instructions.
God, I remember driving on my permit with my Mom. Ladies often wore pantyhose back in those days and I can still hear the sound of nylon on nylon as she was applying the imaginary brake from the passenger's seat in her old Chevy. She eventually calmed down, barked out fewer instructions, and I got calmer behind the wheel.
Until she is a comfortable with the car as she is with her computer/cell phone/whatever driving will be nerve wracking.
Make her be the chauffeur. The more she drives, the better she'll get.
But soon, she'll want to go places and do things WITHOUT YOU, so the utility of driving will outweigh its "terror".
Then there could be people like your daughter who laughs/cries when they are anxious.
I think we all have different ways of behaving when we are stressed/anxious and it doesn't necessarily mean there is anything "wrong". It just means we need to find a technique that helps calm us down. That technique can be different for each person and hopefully your daughter will find the one that suits her best!
For me, my technique is to bend over, place my hands on my top of my knees and breathe slowly. It's my way of "shaking it off". (I don't recommend your daughter do this, however, when driving. )
My mom used to do the air brake thing too when I started driving. Once she even grabbed the wheel. I pulled over and told her to walk home. LOL
[This message edited by IrishGirlVA at 3:07 PM, July 10th (Thursday)]
I'm googling how to get a car with a real brake on the right....and a steering wheel...
Parenting is terrifying.
My DS also laughs at the wrong time, when in pain he laughs as well. It can be embarrassing especially at the doctors when he's in pain but he's laughing. I think it's a nervous anxious thing with him.
They can't get their learners permit till they are 16 here. DS is counting down the days. It terrifies me.
Good luck with the lessons with DD.
At least your kiddo is cautious. My 15 year old is planning on taking her test next week, this child is my fearless one, and she likes to go fast. She has crashed every single thing she has ever driven by being over confident, and going to fast, from her power wheels car, to a mini dirt bike, to a real bike, to a riding lawn mower, and last year, did about $3000 worth of damage to my dad's Kubota tractor!!!!
So needless to say I am a bit scared.
When you are anxious it is hard to focus, and trying to do two things at once is too difficult. (I do plan to learn how to do the cruise control for a long distance trip soon where my husband and I will be sharing the driving because he has a back problem. Usually he does it all.) But I will still start by studying the manual intensely, not by trying it out when I am driving.
I understand that it is hard in a rural area where your DD may not be able to get places without driving. My suggestion would be to take it slowly. Have her make a graded list of easiest to hardest driving situations, and a schedule for building up her abilities and her confidence. The thing that helped me most was having my father express calm confidence in me as I did harder and harder things. I did learn to drive, and have even done a few long distance trips by myself, but I need to focus more than others, take breaks and pace myself, and not try to change lanes as much or go as fast as others might.
Good luck to you and DD.
I'd work up to highway.
Driver's Ed provides little behind the wheel experience here, and very little highway driving. We used a private driving school to get more behind the wheel instructional time, particularly hours on the highway. Both kids did this--and were more comfortable having done it. Especially my son.
Then it was just a matter of letting them chauffeur at every opportunity.
Cars are big and scary! It's good to have a healthy respect for/fear of driving.
And yes---my kids are both anxiety-prone. It took a while to identify that as the culprit. It's tricky to navigate--but I'd start with talking with her about how she's feeling.
[This message edited by solus sto at 1:25 PM, July 12th (Saturday)]