So my son is 12 going on 13, he learned to ride a dirt bike this spring. And he likes cars like me, well maybe not in the obsessive way i was at his age.
Any way tonight we were driving home from hanging out with family, and I decided to see if I could get him into the driver's seat of the e90.
I took him over to the high school parking lot, a big empty area. And told him I wanted to give him a driving lesson. I spent about 15 minutes going back and forth along the lot showing how get the car going with out using the gas. Just letting the clutch out slowly, feeling it engage, and slipping the clutch until you have enough momentum to let it out all the way. I kept to dome light on, and put my phone down in the footwell with the flashlight on so he could watch my feet.
Then I told him about the first time I drove a car, how I was TERRIFIED, just like he was. but my brother took me to a parking lot, put me in the driver's seat and let me drive. and it was awesome.
He was clearly scared, and told me he didn't want to do it. But he is a very scared kid, he will shut down and tighten up physically when he's scared. It's taken me a while, but I've learned how to help ease him out of that. Eventually he did switch seats. We got the seat position set up for him, he's 5'4" now geeze. I let him know I'd take control if he got scared, that I had the shifter, so I could take it out of gear, I have the parking brake so I can stop it, and I can steer for him If I need to.
That did help him relax a lot. Then I had him put his hands on the wheel, and look forward. he put his foot on the clutch, and I put it in 1st for him.
then he stalled. And I smiled. I'm my mind I was like "HE DID IT" just the fact that he could get over that fear wall and try was HUGE progress.
I told him that he was doing great, stalling was just part of learning.
So he started the car, and tried again. this time he got it going for a few feet, and stalled. Again I told him "you're doing great!" then he started the car again, and gave it another try. this time he got going and went the last 150 feet or so just idling in 1st.
Coming to the end of the parking lot I think he got tunnel vision on a post that was dead ahead of us. so I pulled it out of 1st and pulled the parking brake so we stopped.
We talked a bit about what he learned, and I asked him if he wanted me to turn the car about so he could give it another go. he said not today and I didn't push it.
Anyway I'm once again a proud Dad. Also passing on the art of rowing one's own gears!