STAGE 7: Age 16-18 – Driving
Defining factor: She gets her driver’s license and suddenly has independence. She doesn’t need to depend on her parents to drive her places, so you may not always know where she is. This is the beginning of a new type of independence.
Observations From 101 Dads of Daughters
- She started having more responsibility.
- Learning to drive meant my daughter was growing up.
- I suddenly saw her becoming a woman.
- She was spending more and more time away with her friends.
- And then there was the dating.
- As a divorced dad it can get a little complicated.
I WAS SO PROUD OF HOW SHE CONQUERED HER FEAR
“I loved teaching her how to drive a car in parking lots. You know, having her be really afraid and watching her finally get out into traffic and do so well. I was so proud of her.”
Lucas , fifty year old kindergarten teacher, father of a twenty-five year old daughter (divorced when she was four but stayed involved throughout her entire life)
TRAVELING ON HER OWN—SHE DIDN’T PANIC
“She travelled by herself to meet with another girl. [But suddenly they realized] they had gotten on the wrong plane. The other girl kind of dissolved into, ‘Oh my God. What are we going to do? How are we going to get there?’ [But] my daughter just pulled it together and handled it. She called home and said, ‘What do I do?’ She didn’t dissolve and break down.
Just the fact that she handled it so well, to be out of town in a strange place, in an airport. I looked at that and went, ‘Yeah, that’s my girl!’
Richard, fifty year old male nurse anesthesiologist, father of a twenty-five year old daughter and two sons