From the time my children were born, people have been warning me to enjoy my kids while they are young, because their teen years will be a nightmare. I have to say that in almost every way, I disagree. I have loved watching my kids grow up, and even though there are times of frustration for both them and me, I feel so lucky to have them in my life.
Except for the driving.
Oh my god. The driving.
When my daughter gets behind the wheel of a car, I become a raving lunatic. No matter how I tell myself that wildly gasping and grabbing at the dashboard only panics her and makes the situation more dangerous, I can’t seem to stop myself.
I was talking with her about how I was struggling for an idea to write in this week’s blog, and she suggested that I write about something that demonstrated one of the basic needs that drive behaviour. She suggested that my behaviour while supervising her driving was an excellent example of someone with an excessive need for power. (I do love the girl, but she can still be a brat!)
Her joking did make me think, though. I hadn’t thought of my reactions as being connected to power at all. To me, it’s all about the basic survival instinct. I’m simply terrified that she (and I!) will be physically hurt if she gets in an accident.
It made me wonder… how often do we incorrectly assume that one need is driving someone’s behaviour, when they see it in an entirely different way.
And how might our responses to behaviour be different if we attributed the actions of others to another need?
Would you treat that child differently if you saw him as desperate to belong instead of being the class clown?
Would you react differently if you saw that girl as being excited instead of disobedient?
Would my daughter react differently to me if she saw me as fearful instead of controlling?
Maybe we should be spending more time in the parking lot practicing at slow speeds instead of on the highway. I think that might work better, because I would be so afraid.
On the other hand, maybe this is one of those things that should be a special activity she does with her Daddy.