Remember the Rules? (6-17-22)

A few days ago I was stopped at a red light, next to a car full of teenaged girls being chauffeured by a mom. Thinking back to when our teens needed a ride from mom or dad (or any trusted adult) reminded me of the three rules that apply when you drive teenagers anywhere. If you’ve been in that car – as the driver or the teenager – you know the rules.

Rule 1: You may drive but you may not speak. Your teenagers think you’re so old that you couldn’t possibly have anything important – or intelligent – to say anyway.

Rule 2: You may not, under any circumstances, tune the radio to a station that plays music you enjoy.

Rule 3: Even if you happen to know the song your teens selected, you may not sing along. It doesn’t matter if you wrote and recorded the song. You’re never permitted to sing aloud. Ever. Humming is also strictly forbidden.

I’ve learned that Rule #1 actually has its advantages. If you drive long enough without speaking, you gradually become invisible. Your teens actually forget you are in the car and begin to talk about things they would never have discussed had they known you were in the vehicle. You can gather a wealth of information, and also pick up bits and pieces of conversations you never wanted to hear – ever. Then you can share them later with other parents so everyone is up to speed.

Ah… if life were only as simple as following those three rules! But the older we get the more rules there are. Some rules make sense and others don’t… or at least not at the time. Have you ever thought about something that happened in the past that you didn’t understand then… and now it makes perfect sense? Wisdom does come with age! And so does keeping your sense of humor. It can help you get through bad days with difficult people … even when you’re not in a car full of teenagers!


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