On the Couch with Jasminda



Do you have a pressing problem, annoying anxiety or community conundrum? Jasminda Featherlight, our resident roving Agony Aunt, is here to help. Jasminda will be responding to questions from our News Of The Area papers on a rotating basis. Send your concerns to Jasminda care of edit@mcnota.com.au and include your title, initials and suburb.

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Dear Jasminda,

My son just got his L plates. I am absolutely terrified about taking him for driving lessons but I can’t afford private lessons for him to get his hours up. What should I do?
Mrs PA, Medowie

Dear Mrs PA,

I have never understood the concept of parents teaching their kids to drive. Putting your teenager behind the wheel when you have no access to the brake just seems like sheer insanity to me. It was certainly sheer insanity when my parents taught me to drive. I ended up mounting the gutter one time and clearing the scene of all pedestrians. It took me three attempts to get my licence, which was humiliating and expensive. On the second attempt I would have passed, but when I parked too close to the car next to me and asked the instructor to crawl across and get out my side, it was all over Red Rover.

Even now, after decades of driving, I still can’t reverse park or do an effective hill start (once I had to get a policeman to do my hill start for me – I wish I had made that up, but it is true). Honestly, I have no idea what to do at those four-way intersections where there is a stop sign on each corner. I make eye-contact with the person opposite or do a funny stop-start movement, similar to when you move the wrong way when being approached by a person and you end up doing a strange little dance with them, until one person takes control.

How about you strike a deal with your son and go halves in the cost of private lessons, at least until he knows the basics. If he can’t afford this, then he probably can’t afford a car anyway. Alternatively, there is a lot of land in Medowie, so maybe start in a paddock and work your way up to the backstreets. I wish you lots of luck.

Carpe diem,

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