ohblahdi’s Weblog











{January 31, 2011}   Margins

Well guys, Christmas break is over and life is back in swing. I realized over the three long weeks of our Christmas break several things about being a parent, being a friend, a wife, and well just a person. I often struggle with the idea of being a great everything and struggle with the idea that I indeed should not struggle due to vanity, and then I struggle with what the ideal great everything really truly is. Here I am, 35 years old, married for nearly twenty years, parent of three teenagers and teaching high school having a self identity crisis. What is a truly great anything? Can I ever achieve that? Should I even try? Am I aiming for the right great everything?
I try to keep myself balanced. Balanced meaning: not screaming and yelling, calm, happy and maybe even fun. Balanced meaning: well fed, somewhat clean, organized, and on top of things. Balanced meaning: children in order, happy husband, cared for dogs. Balanced meaning: huh? Yeah, I tend to get distracted very easy. The Bible says to acknowledge God in all things. Society says that I am supposed to have an immaculate house, organic food, clean dogs, respectful children, and a really hot body. I think I may break down and cry.
My balance scale says two opposite things. What am I supposed to do when I feel good, my kids are silly, my husband is chilling but my whole house looks like a bunch of fraternity guys live here? Do I yell at everyone to stop living and clean the dang house? What am I supposed to do bathe the dogs or play with them or cook dinner or lesson plan? When am I going to find time to make sure that my house looks like Better Homes and Gardens magazines, my kids like Old Navy models, me look like a Victoria Secret Model, cook like the food network, afford organic food, lesson plan, sleep, get massages, drive kids around to violin lessons, kickboxing, hockey and church, take care of extra kids, oh my goodness I can’t breathe.
I have to stop and think what is important. If the house is clean but messy, life will go on. If my kids learn priorities, and willingly try to help and love each other but the dishes don’t get done, life will go on. If my husband has to work late, eat frozen left-overs, life will go on. If I try to be active, love myself, god and others and do not look like a model….well, I guess life will go on. What I am trying to say is that balance means that I am at peace, I have joy, avoid conflict and anger, well my balance is pretty darn good. Society is not my savior and never will be. I don’t know why I gave them a minute of my precious family time. So, here is my margin, my reset if you will: Don’t try to be what everyone else says you need to be. There is no margin there. See what you want out of life, how you can serve God while doing that and life is the margin.



{January 31, 2011}   Priceless

My husband and I have always cherished the arts. He is a musician and sees most things very critically and analytically. I am a writer and an artist. I like to say that I understand meanings and ideas and very rarely notice the details, kind of touch feely. Together, we make a very good match; the small things collaborate to show the big picture. We have shared these views with our children and I can see little snippets of our personalities and passions glisten in the eyes of our kids. This makes my heart sing. There is nothing I love more that being together as a family sharing passions, beauty, and ideas. A burning red sunset at the beach, a challenging piece of politics, beautiful art, a rock concert are some of the most profound gifts we have given to our children. Time, thought, discussion and touch are much more of a blessing than anything tangible ever could be. As a teacher, I so often see my students like zombies with lots of nice clothing, expensive electronics and good hair lacking these very things. My students are lonely, angry, afraid, and lost. Sometimes they have no one waiting home for them for days. They go home and sit in their room. There is no conversation. The only attention they might receive is from a text message or a quick lunch at school. They crave the smallest thing from their family: time.
I remember when my oldest daughter began middle school. Middle school is the hardest time for any kid. We like to joke and call it a “holding ground.” Middle school is where kids are judged in some of the cruelest ways. You will notice that if your kids never cared about fashion before, they do in middle school. My daughter began specifically asking for particular clothing brands, shoes, etc. She was judged based on her reading materials, clothing, electronics, hair style, and even her socks. Before middle school as long as it was girly and comfortable, she was good. This all turned into a nightmare for me. My confident, sweet girl turned into a self-conscious wreck. My first instinct was to give her everything she needed to fit in hoping to give her a better childhood than mine. However, I realized that I turned out just fine and that those hard times made me who I am today. I know this sounds cliché and very parenty, but it is true. I refused that forty dollar Hollister Tee and the Victoria’s Secret underwear. I gave her the ultimatum, if she wants these high priced items, she must pay for them. Of course, she did buy her one tee and three underwear with her birthday money. I knew that materialism was not something I wanted to instill, but self esteem. She would find self esteem in her accomplishments and not in her underwear.
So we began to ponder our options for this building of esteem. She has always been a performer. We enforced this talent and love for the arts. We put her in theater programs, music lessons, and just spent a lot of time together. Nothing can replace good old fashioned family fun when it comes to building a child up. This goes for all of my children. How many ipods and Nikes do we have to buy to realize that they will get washed, broken or stolen. Activities, love, and conversation will never fade or fall apart. I would much rather spend my hard earned money on time with my children. Forty dollars can pay for a really nice picnic at the beach. You might even be able to afford a five dollar t-shirt to wear on the trip. An new cell phone could pay for a day at an amusement park for all of you. Go on a cruise together, or to another country. Go to the art museum or to a play. Discuss what you feel and see. Read a book together every night. That is free.
Kids need to know that someone cares for them. Kids need their ideas molded and reinforced. Kids need to see good examples of life. Kids need to hear good conversation. How can we know what they think if we never ask them? How can we raise good humans if we never talk to them? How can we just placate them with things? Of course they want things, they don’t know what they want. I can guarantee that most well-rounded happy adults came from well-rounded happy families. I know that the issues that I deal with in my own life are because no one ever talked to me growing up. I don’t want my kids to feel that way when they are older.
This weekend, my children, my husband and I all went to a concert in San Diego. It delighted me to see the wonder in my daughter’s eyes, the query in my son’s eyes, the excitement in my other child. I loved seeing that we all connected in that one place, as a family listening to rock music. Find something that you and your children can embrace together. It can be music, art, politics, philosophy, literature, sports, games or just chilling together on a Sunday afternoon. Don’t just watch your kids play games either, play with them. If you feel that need to placate with the tangible, don’t do it. If you are working too much to provide the unnecessary, stop. If you are afraid to get to know each other, stop. Don’t separate your lives. Share your life together as a family.



{December 4, 2010}   2010 LeBlanc Christmas Newsletter

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love! ~Hamilton Wright Mabie
2010 brought with it many blessings. This year has been a truly great year for us here in Moreno Valley, California. It has been a very busy year, but a good one.
We were lucky enough to catch quite a few concerts this year including: Muse, 10 Years, SevenDust, FlyLeaf, and more. We really love spending time together as a family enjoying our passions. We made several trips to the beach, including a very cool bike ride near where they filmed Beaches. Our friends were blessed beyond hope this year with a surprise son. So, our very sweet godson was born this year and he was named Peter. J We also got to make it out to Massachusetts this year to visit dear family: Grandpa Bob and Grandma Phyllis, Grammy Margaret, Grandmom Peggy, Grandpa John and Grandma Jean. This was really special. We toured the American Lit museums, which I LOVED, and had a wonderful Thanksgiving there.
Peter has been playing bass on the worship team for Sandals church. This has been a really great experience for him and he has made some really wonderful friends. He seems to have really recovered well from his wrist surgery last year and is tiptoeing back into a little street hockey as of late. He also has been playing a little rock music with some friends on the side, possible recording???
I am still teaching but teaching Seniors this year, as well as Honors Freshman. So everything was really new for me. I was named Teacher of the Year and got my own personal parking space. Busy, but challenging. am also very busy with teaching AVID, a college prep class. It keeps me in trainings and activities, including a cool trip to SF! On the cool side, I am writing for the church which is very fulfilling and engaging. They will be printing a magazine too!
Alannah has been a busy bee. She hosted a foreign exchange student from France this spring and will exchange again in April. We miss you Morgane! She had a really cool Sweet 16 Tea Party. She also performed in a musical at the local college, Anything Goes. She took college classes all summer from 3-9 pm which included acting, tap, singing and stage. She is currently taking a heavy load of college prep classes and is doing great. She starred in A MidSummer Night’s Dream and is currently playing Scrooge in our school’s play A MoVal Christmas Carol. She received her driver’s permit just recently! Yikes.
Melody started high school this year and of course she is doing fine. We celebrated her one year anniversary of her heart surgery in August and had a great party with an amazing fondant cake. She is planning to take a trip this summer, with her sister, to France, England, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, and well everywhere they can get to in 20 days as Junior Ambassadors. She and Alannah are both taking violin lessons as well. Busy, beautiful girls.
Jason is back in kickboxing. He is also playing ice hockey for the Junior Reign which is the minor league for The Kings. Mimi is his number one fan! He is awesome. He loves to draw, listen to music and especially ride his really cool bike. He mostly plays forward. He is in ASB at school and is ready to move on up to High School next year.
All in all, it has been a really nice year. Fun with nephews, godkids, and best friends. Feeling closer to family than ever makes the season so much more warm. Feeling artistic, feeling inspired, feeling loved and feeling peace.
Peter, Angie, Alannah,
Melody, and Jason



{November 26, 2010}   Black Friday

Little Things
Holidays are a time of manic pressure, anxiety, stress, love, and cozy reminiscence. Sounds so odd to add negativity into a sentence about the holidays doesn’t it? When we think of Thanksgiving and Christmas we get goose bumpy and sweet. We think of Charlie and his weird tree, the clay-mation reindeers, the silly snowman who melts, grandma’s jammies and cookies. We sigh. We can’t wait! It is so exciting to hear the music and see the decorations on the street posts. We even look forward to the bell ringer outside. Then comes Black Friday. Did I really spend my Thanksgiving evening on the street freezing in a tent for a camera? Oh yeah, the holidays make us crazy, we then quickly remember.
I hate driving during the holidays. People are lined up to go everywhere I want to go. They make ridiculous driving decisions. People forget what wait your turn and politely nod mean. They forget what sharing and consideration means as well. It is crazy. Those “Remember Jesus is the Reason for the Season” stickers don’t really make a difference out on the streets. Is this an arms race? You would think so in some places. Christmas has become such a stressful time of wonderful. We worry about shopping and budgeting, credit limits, pleasing the unpleasable, keeping up with the whomevers and not offending anyone just in case they get us something, and attending and sparkling, and swirling, and spinning, and well just plain insanity is what we come to.
Now I am not just preaching the typical Christmas is commercialized nonsense. I mean I am just as guilty as anyone else. I love the trees and trimmings and yes I do listen to Christmas music as soon as I possibly can. I strive to bring joy with small packages and ribbon and nothing is prettier than a twinkling roofline and all. I just want to reflect on Christ, holidays, and how they have played with me over the years. Christmas should be heartfelt, full of love, and humble. Christmas should display our love for Christ to others, not our pocketbook right?
Growing up we had nothing. I have lived in many strange places and have had very humble holidays. I will never forget my third grade Christmas. Dad was out of work. Mom did what she could. We had nothing. My mom was very upset that she couldn’t decorate. She sat me down and we prayed for Christmas. She prayed that we would have food, presents, and a nice Christmas. I do not lie that literally hours later someone arrived with boxes full of decorations and a Christmas tree. We didn’t know them and had no idea why they brought them to us. That night, the Pastor of our church invited us to go out for pizza. This was a huge deal because we rarely ate out and never had pizza. I think I ate out maybe five times before that. Later, some church members gave my mom some things to give to me as presents. I received a homemade wooden cradle and a homemade doll that year for Christmas.
It might sound like a Hallmark movie with cheesy background music, but it is true. What blesses me the most is that God has always taken care of me despite the circumstances but he always seems to find the little things that make the difference. Little things like favorite songs come on the radio when I am down, small gifts that come from the most unlikely places, messages on facebook when I need them most are like a ray of light coming straight from His heart. God not only takes care of me but he knows my heart. He knows the deepest depths of my soul. He knows just how to make me smile when I thought I couldn’t. It is the little presents that make the biggest differences in life.
This recent holiday I got to spend in Massachusetts with my husband’s family. What a blessing to have so many grandmothers, fathers, cousins, and aunts and uncles in one place. When spending time with the grandmothers the thing I heard over and over again was what was most precious: being remembered and loved. They wanted to be thought about. They wanted ways to hear and understand their families. Grandmom Peggy loved her church music cd’s and messages. She loved her pictures of the family. She loved her memories. Grammy Margaret loved her cards with handwritten letters full of thanks and family news. How she fawned over the heartfelt letters and pictures. The little things really do make a difference in our everyday lives. If we can help in bigger ways that is nice too, but don’t overlook the little ways to say I love you with easy, fat gifts that have no meaning.
Remember this season that it is truly the small things that touch the heart. Christmas is not about being impressive and fashionable. It is not about competing for the most glory or even out doing the neighbors and colleagues. Christmas is about giving Christ’s love to those around us. As I grasp my ratty blue blanket, I encourage you to bless your friends, neighbors, and family this year with a small gift that is from your heart. I also encourage you to bless those who have nothing to do with you or your family but also need Christ’s love. The least of these need his love the most.
Gift Ideas:
Think of the things that make them smile. Think of the things that are dear and precious. If someone is offended by the price tag, they have forgotten what the holiday is about.
Baked goods
Poems written on handmade paper
Photographs in scrap books or on disk format that can be played in a dvd
Favorite socks
Letters of appreciation, favorite memories written down in a book
Handmade scarves, hats, etc.
Favorite fruits and candies
Letter writing kits, fancy pens
Personalized small gifts that represent the person’s hobbies
Personalized Christmas ornaments
Remember, keep it simple and don’t overdo Christmas. Give encouragement, appreciation and love. Make sure whatever gift you give is a representation of those things. Your gift should be a way to tell that person that God loves them and that he has chosen you to relay that message.



{November 26, 2010}   hello sandals

My journey at Sandals has been a bumpy one–Mr. Toad if you will. Church for me has been an experience. Just breathing, I guess you can say is an experience. Vague circles is what we Christians do when trying to explain things. Now I find myself generalizing to make myself feel better about what I might find myself explaining…about church. This bumpy, wild ride may cause some turbulence. Turbulence may cause some shaking. Shaking may cause some clarity.
As a young girl I found myself exuberant and excited about the gospel. I would walk up and down the street exclaiming the glory of Christ’s ability to save us all and take us to heaven to live with him forever. This heaven is what I dreamed of. It was the place of rest, peace, and joy. This heaven was an escape of the darkness and frightening life I lived in. As I grew older, I grew braver. I did not want to share my Christ’s ability to save with the lost; I wanted to share it with those who made me feel trapped and unloved. I wanted to share it with the people in my church. I knew that my Christ, his love, and his heaven did not match theirs. I could find any verse in the Bible by just hearing a few words. I had the book of Hebrews memorized. I knew what I believed, and I knew why. I was an unusual 15 year old. Sadly, I was ostracized and punished for my outspoken ways. I was not accepted, understood, or loved in the agape fashion. Later, as an adult, I found myself in leadership at the church. I ran the finances, the worship team, the youth group, taught Wednesday night services and directed the children’s ministry along with some youth camps. Here, people felt uncomfortable with my place in the church. They wanted me for everything except real relationship. After ten years of faithful service, that church fell apart and my family and I were lost without the church family we grew to be a part of. As lacking as it was, it was family.
We tried to find new churches. We liked some; We were totally weirded out by others. We found one and attended for two years. We even joined the worship team. This turned on us. They tried to fire the only friends we made and hire us to replace them. We left and eventually landed in my old stinky college gym on Sunday mornings. Visions of aerobics danced in my head. On top of this feeling of abandonment and loss, which are my two biggest fears, I am terrified of large churches. Sandals was not for me. Preaching-great. Worship-can’t beat Carlos. People-too darn many. The reject buzzer is blaring. Ok. Well, we tried other churches. I am tired of fast food. Sandal’s is Disneyland without the rides. I am completely overwhelmed. You think Matt has ADD? Welcome to my life. Too much is going on, that lady is walking up the bleachers, the guy in front of me is massaging his wife, somebody’s phone went off and my foot itches.
Then, I can’t really seem to find a place where I fit. I can’t leave the church. My family is fed (that’s Christianese btw for happy) here, my husband likes the church, and don’t I have to like submit or something under his leadership? What the heck am I going to do? Well, submit I guess. I guess. Yeah, I said it. So, I go to some functions. Food, don’t fit in. Give blood, no one talks while giving blood. Beach trip, everyone’s busy with their own stuff and sand is everywhere. The marshmallows were good. Married Couple Getaway, good for a few weeks and kind of made a few friends. Nothing deep. Darn it. Tried to get on the worship team. Sucks that singers are a dime a dozen. Husband made it. Crash.
This caused more turbulence in my life than I ever expected. This challenged my purpose, my needs, my pride, my well everything. For so long, since I was thirteen years old, I was valued for my ability to not only sing, but to lead worship. On top of that, I led worship alongside my husband for ten years. To see him up on stage brought in so much pain and bitterness in my life that I couldn’t think straight. It felt like he was up there with his new family while I watched in the shadows hidden in my car like a stalking ex-wife. Pain. He took it that his worship brought me anger. He actually felt guilty to play his guitar. How could I ever let something this stupid control and hurt so many? I love to hear him play worship. I just felt so detached and frustrated. Here I was at church for the first time with no connections, no relationship and no ministry. I felt so hollow.
You know what is really ridiculous? I am a grown up now. I am not a five year old who throws fits right? So why am I stamping my feet crying at God? Didn’t I realize that my ministry is my career? How many times have I told people how blessed I am to teach thug teenagers at Moval? I minister on a daily basis in a very overwhelming and sometimes scary place. I deal with drug addiction, abandonment, depression, poverty, sicknesses, selfish and upset kids every single day. I don’t even have time to take care of my own family sometimes due to this job. How did I think I was going to squeeze in worship practice? Embarrassing is what that was.
Well, I guess that doesn’t really tell you the place where my journey is now with Sandals. You said you wanted real right? I don’t know where I am at right now at Sandals. I am a blogger. That is a start right? I am ministering at church. I see a cross on a beautiful mountain just behind a big ugly building. I see a lot of people who have similar goals for Christ. They don’t make me feel bad or stupid. They are afraid to open up. They are comfortable with what they have. I see some amazing artists which speaks to my soul. How I have longed to see art become a part of the church. I see the church move and breathe. I see a humble leader who knows that Sandals needs to know itself. I see myself right here Sandals church. Disneyland can be nice if I let it. This is me, holding out my hand to touch your shoulder. This is me connecting to Sandals church. Hello.



{October 26, 2010}   Moving Day

So my day began with chaos. I got stuck in traffic and was late. My students were all outside waiting for me in the drizzle. Okay. Then they were upset that we weren’t watching a movie. Really? Is there a film class they can attend somewhere? Then, a girl announces she wishes to talk to me. She wants to know if Planned Parenthood has an abortion pill. Crash. I am giving advice on how to kill a child. What am I supposed to do? Then my other student is having a panic attack in class and is afraid.
Then I meet my terrors of fourth period. They are annoying, they are loud, they are ridiculous. They are failing many classes. I have to do something to grab ahold of this class. So, we have a discussion. A lightbulb goes on in my head or my muse is whispering, or who knows, God speaks. These kids are overwhelmed, forgotten and depressed. I ask them: How many of you feel overwhelmed? All of them. How many of you feel so stressed out that you just want to hide and sleep for three days? Several. How many of you feel like no one understands you? No one knows how hard life is? Most. How many of you just want to disappear, to die? Seven. How many of you don’t know how to fix it? It went on for ten minutes.
My heart fell.
These dumb, annoying kids felt so lost. So out of place. So alone. Here I was preaching and nagging and dreading….I didn’t take the time to love them.
We talked. We are searching. We will find their purpose and give them reason to shine.



{October 21, 2010}   Chain Me Up

Words I hate
Demure
Docile
Gentle
Quiet
Smile
These words control my life
If I let just one of these loose
Just one drops and slips to the ground
The world shatters
Earth quakes
Fire and Brimstone
Anger, hurt, pain, suffering, frustration, hate
Must hide beneath the mist of
Comfortable
Peace.
Put rocks in my pocket and let me sink.



{October 20, 2010}   25

25

1. I love to cook, I hate to clean it.

2. I am very social and yet always feel isolated.

3. I have serious abandonement issues.

4. I love presents.

5. My favorite thing to eat is pie. Especially coconut cream pie.

6. I love to be outside, alone.

7. I want to be a writer.

8. I like crazy music. Vampire Weekend is my new favorite because it is so random.

9. I love to be held when I am falling apart.

10. I always feel like I am falling apart.

11. I hate to hug people.

12. I am an oxymoron. Maybe just moron.

13. I care way too much.

14. I hate noise.

15. I love to hold babies. I love to be close to children.

16. I love to see then inner conflict of scary people. I know they are beautiful somewhere.

17. I love spending time with others. I love when people enjoy spending time with me.

18. I am obsessive compulsive and rebelling against it, so my life is a mess.

19. I love to look at patterns and colors. I could spend hours just looking at paper samples.

20. Family is beautiful and should never drift apart. Biggest Fear.

21. Words are like a drug, they give sooo much pleasure.

22. I am so amazed by life and so daunted by it.

23. God loves me, and I can only hope to show my gratitude.

24. I like to paint my toenails but I hate my feet.

25. I am an accessories junkie. Glasses, shoes, necklaces, cardigans….



{October 5, 2010}   Friendship

As an only child who grew up fairly sheltered in this world with a single mom who rarely gave conversation, I can say that I have lived a pretty solitary life. I didn’t grow up fighting over toys or crayons, chasing someone over a ball or toy, argueing about ideas or politics or even partcipating in something simple like sharing cookies. I had the occasional neighborhood friend here and there who found it fun to spend time playing school or barbies. Most of my cousins lived out of state. If they didn’t they ended up moving out of state.
I have deep issues with the idea of abandonment and therefore always am sure that someone will leave or want to leave eventually for some reason or other. Sometimes, I want to leave first so I don’t have to watch someone actually make that decision. I have had a couple of deep connected friends for short periods of time. I even remember one of those friends making the comment that in the future we would be on a talk show discussing how we drifted apart over the years. Somehow even she knew that we wouldn’t be close forever even though we wrote BFF on everything. I had no idea how correct her thinking was, with or without the talk show.
Are friends really supposed to be forever? Are we really supposed to have that one good friend? Am I delusional in thinking that there is supposed to be someone out there who wants to know what I did today, everyday? Am I really searching for some phantom family that I never had? Or, are people just too afraid to make relationship promises. Are they afraid that someone might actually get close enough to see the real them? Are they afraid that someone might find out their secrets? Why do people run from me and hide everytime I get close enough to really feel connected?
I hate wondering for weeks on end whether or not this is a friend. I am not kidding. I will think, no it is an aquaintance, a colleague, a church member. Friend? Maybe….no just a colleague. Friend? Time together, gifts, text messages, dinner…Friend? Yes! Text message, no answer. Friend? nope. not this time. Oh wait, they invited me over! Friend for sure. Weeks go by. Nope, not. Ugh. I am so tired of reaching out and reaching out. Of being let in and then pushed out.
Are friends seasonal? Am I just supposed to have them occasionally and then switch them out with my autumn table cloth? Are friends supposed to float in and out? Am I supposed to be okay with this? I don’t know. I think maybe I have no real idea or maybe society has no idea of what a loyal and true relationship is supposed to be.
Ponder.



{September 28, 2010}   Driving Miss Teenager

We are in this together: patience, myself, and my sixteen year old daughter. I never in my wildest dreams thought this time would come so fast. She is so nervous and excited. I am wondering how we got here. She checks her makeup in the mirror and giggles while adjusting the mirrors. She waited so long to get to this point. She was so afraid to drive. She even swore she was just going to ride her bike everywhere. I remember learning to drive myself. Boy, they weren’t kidding when they said time flies. Time doesn’t just fly, it evaporates. I was learning to drive just a few days ago, I could swear. If Jesus is going to take the wheel, now is the time.
All of the horror stories of teenage drivers come to my mind. The good old, “my mom screamed at me until I just got my license” or “my dad put the fear of the road in me,” the brother or sister, boyfriend let me drive or my dad gave me the keys and said, “don’t get caught.” I have actually never heard any good, calm learning to drive stories. I wanted to do this right. I did not want to traumatize my daughter and I wanted her to learn to do this and not to be afraid. So, here I was ready to help my daughter be the best driver she could be and I wanted to make it through this car and mind intact.
Here are some easy tips to help you prepare for your teen driver and to keep your sanity:
Your child must be 15 and a half to take driver’s training.
Your child must take a driver’s training course. This can be taken online very inexpensively ($20) or at school as an elective.
Most insurance companies will ensure student drivers for free until they turn 16 and a half.
Once the class is passed, your child must sign up for behind the wheel training to apply for the permit test. These classes cost approximately $200-$250.
The permit test is approximately $30 and is easily passed if the student studies and prepares themselves. There are several different tests. http://dmv.ca.gov/portal/home/dmv.htm
Once the test is passed, the driving practice begins.
Be calm and patient. Take your driver to a safe, empty place. If there is no fear of demolition, both the driver and the trainer are calmer. Let your student learn the feel of the car. Let them feel how the car moves, stops, and maneuvers.
Do not yell. If the driver is making a mistake, tell them calmly to stop and explain thoroughly what they did and the correct maneuver.
Be explicit. Things that we know, we don’t understand that they don’t know. We take our common knowledge for granted and don’t understand that it is not their common knowledge. Give directions to the smallest detail.
Give the student time to take in the experience. Help them to feel comfortable and confident.
If this experience is overwhelming and frustrating for you, let the driver instructor do the rest of the work. Allow an aunt or uncle, brother or sister (25 or older) to practice driving with your child. Sometimes this allows for more confidence and comfort for all involved.
Once your student becomes more confident driving, they will feel more confident with you in the car as well. You will not feel so worried and frustrated with them in charge of the vehicle.
Remember that there should only be one instructor in the car. Having instructions from several people at once is very overwhelming.
Don’t give up. We learned to drive didn’t we?

So, it has been three weeks and my teen driver is doing great. She is afraid to change lanes and does so a little bit rough. I am terrified of her parking the car in a lot space. She is afraid to move past forty miles per hour and freaks out if cars pass in front of her. My pretend brake is getting worn and it is so hard not to be in control of the situation. However, after six hours of professional training and several driving experiences with mom, dad, and lucky friends, she is doing great. It takes a little longer for us to get anywhere, but seeing the feeling of confidence and pride on her face is priceless. Now, we just have to prepare for our other two kids to get through this.



et cetera