Three Reasons We Taught Our Daughter to Drive a Stick Shift

I have to admit, a stick shift is not for me.

Back in high school, my boyfriend (now husband) taught me to drive on his truck, which had a manual transmission. I learned, but I didn’t like it. To be honest, I didn’t like driving at all and adding any extra work to it was just plain miserable for me.

But when it came time to teach our daughter how to drive, we first taught her the basics on an automatic. We knew this would be an important foundation, especially since Driver’s Ed cars are all automatic.

But then we found several reasons to teach her how to drive a stick shift. Here’s why:

Concentration

First and foremost, kids are faced with so many more distractions than I dealt with as a kid. I didn’t have my first computer until I was in college, much less have one to carry around in my pocket. When driving with a stick shift, you don’t have a limb to spare to hold onto a phone. As a parent, any deterrent from texting and driving is a blessing. Sure, there are those multitaskers who can always find a way to juggle eating a burger, texting, putting on mascara, while sipping an iced latte and shifting, but I think that takes years of practice. So for my beginner driver, we may be safe for now while we hope and pray that she puts any multitasking abilities she may have to better, safer use.

Flexibility

Once you learn, you can basically drive anything. We save up each year to try to take at least one big trip, usually in the spring. We’ve been doing this for about eight years now and my daughter is an awesome traveler. She loves it so much that she makes it easy for us to take her anywhere. My hope is that she’ll grow up with an appreciation for the world and other cultures, and will continue to travel when she’s an adult. However, most other countries only offer standard transmission cars and if your plan is to rent one, it wouldn’t be the best idea to try to learn when you get there.

The Most Practical Reason of All. . .

It’s just badass! Sure, we don’t teach our kids things just so they can be cool, but you have to admit that it’s awesome to see your child excel in a lost art. The other day, I let her take my two-seater Mini Cooper convertible automatic car and when she got home, she said my car is so boring to drive because it’s not a standard. My husband said he’s never been more proud, as I rolled my eyes. But truthfully, I thought my kid is pretty badass.

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Amanda Jones

1 Comment on "Three Reasons We Taught Our Daughter to Drive a Stick Shift"

  1. HI Amanda. I don’t know what it is, but, 6 of my friends ranging in age between 23 and 63, have all taken to driving standard. I learned to drive standard when I was a teen. I think it’s coming back big time but I don’t know why. I enjoyed your thoughts and article. Have a good summer. Best from Toronto Clive Desmond

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