Dad divides opinion after letting son get driver's license before older daughter

Picture : Getty Images
Picture : Getty Images 

Few parenting steps are more terrifying than letting your newly minted L-plater sit behind the wheel.

That first turn of the key can be a massive anxiety trigger - not just for the car, but for every future trip your child will take.

While many teenagers take the responsibility seriously, for one dad, his daughter's attitude left him feeling he had no choice but to enforce a driving ban.

Complicating matters, however, was that her younger brother was also eligible for his license - and showing more maturity and awareness, the dad - named Gary, decided to let his son go for it.

As he explained on Reddit, his daughter Lisa, 17 and son Dan, 16, were different in both temperament and maturity - which was especially evident once he took them both out driving.

"When she got her permit I took her driving a several hours a week, and she was kind of aloof. Messing with the radio, checking her mobile phone, forgetting to check her mirrors often. I will say she was always aware of her speed," he writes.

"She ran a red light once because she was looking a the light at a different section and hit the gas when it turned green... she realised what she did before I could even clinch my cheeks, but that could had went very bad."

He then decided she wasn't ready for the responsibility and told her she needed another six months of practice before re-evaluating. 

With his son, however, he felt he was ready for the road after three months.


"My daughter has not taken this news well at all. She feels embarrassed and down right angry. She thinks I'm favouring him while I don't think I am at all. I get she's a year older, but I can't risk her life and the lives of others right?"

Many on Reddit praised the dad for recognising the safety risk she could pose. 

"She sounds like a danger to everyone on the road and the fact that she doesn't recognise that makes it even scarier to think about her driving unsupervised," wrote one.

"Coupled with a defensive attitude? Now that's a girl that is absolutely not prepared to begin driving any time soon."

Others suggested taking a more hardline approach to demonstrate the consequences of poor driving decisions or signing her up for lessons. 

"Take her to chat with any fire\ems crew. They'll be more than willing to explain why driving is a huge responsibility!", said one.

"Maybe sign her up for a driving school and see if riding with someone who is not her father or family can give you an honest assessment? This way she has the opportunity to learn and get guidance from a neutral party - who let's face it may have more credibility in her mind as a teen- than you," another suggested.

However one user questioned if the dad was making the decision based on gender, not merit.

"You have to let your kids make these mistakes. And I ask you to dig deep and ask yourself if you are treating your kids different because you have different expectations or notice different things because of their genders?"