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Someone recently asked if we return to our childhood ways in our later years and I said, “sometimes”. Understanding exactly how that works requires greater minds than mine, but my best reasoning is that it is about control.
Does a toddler not know what they are doing when they look us in the eye in sheer defiance? Does a child of any age accidentally lie to the parent about doing something they know clearly is off limits? Of course not. Whether toddler age, pre-teen or youth, the kids’ defiance is a desire for control and parents don’t need a degree in psychology to understand this.
So for parents, the car keys are often the last serious piece of leverage we have with our kids.
Now fast forward to a time in life we all reach if we live long enough – old age – and we’re still having issues about car keys !! How crazy is that? Adults are supposed to be wiser because of life experiences. Seeing another driver straddle or weave between two lanes; drive 20 miles slower than the speed limit; clearly not see or understand how to respond to traffic signals and signs (this example doesn’t include younger people talking on their cell phones) raises our level of social indignation.
However, as with other issues, it is easier to criticize someone else’s lack of good judgment than it is to look in the mirror and say, “kiddo, it has been a good ride and it has been fun, but now it is time to let someone else deal with traffic.” It hurts our pride and the keys represent independence.
There is good news in this situation: If we see the issue and use our good minds, generally there are options, and we can still have control. Remember, if we don’t make our decisions while we can, someone else will make the decision for us and it may not be the one we would have chosen.
Drive safely and recognize when it is time to let someone else do the driving as we continue our life adventures.
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category: Guardianship & Incapacity