When your child begins driving and you are the passenger, a fear takes hold in you. At this moment, you realize, you do not have control and you notice all they wild things other people do when they are driving. I have honed in on people texting, veering off the road a bit because they are looking down or messing with their phone, noticing that people do not come to complete stops and more. You want to “brake” as the passenger and even though your foot is pressing on the floor mat, you cannot stop that car! 

The driver’s training instructor recommended that we use a magnet, “PLEASE BE PATIENT STUDENT DRIVER” on the car when our teen is learning to drive.  He informed us that people can be really impatient and mean, so it is best to have these magnets on the car. I was not about to cause myself anymore stress, so I slap on this magnet any time my son is getting his driving hours. I notice the people around us are not tailgating, not using obscene gestures (which the instructor said has happened to kids without the magnet), not racing around him, not beeping, etc.  They actually are patient with this new driver in the car.  

I wish all people could be patient with everyone each day. Imagine if we could “see” what people are going through:


Students could be experiencing…

My mom and dad were fighting last night

My parents just got a divorce

My dad just moved out

My grandma died

My mom has cancer

My dad is drinking and yelling

I have to go into foster care

I can’t read and I’m embarrassed

My parents don’t have money for the rent

We don’t have any food this week

Staff could be experiencing…

My husband just lost his job

My wife moved out last night

I just had a miscarriage

We have tried numerous infertility procedures and it is not working

My mom just died

My dad was diagnosed with cancer

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis

I am having panic attacks

I am taking care of my aging parents

My husband has a gambling problem

My daughter is drinking

My son is experimenting with drugs

My daughter is on academic probation at college

People obviously won’t be wearing a sign, magnet, or name tag, but always remember someone is going through something that you do not know about.  When a child is having a meltdown or a staff member is off their game, think of the PLEASE BE PATIENT magnet and give them a break and offer support.

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