Ten Minutes with
7 THINGS I LEARNED WHILE TEACHING MY SON TO DRIVE
Professionally, Cameron Mathison is an actor and host and correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. Personally, he’s a kid at heart who loves cars and spending time with his family. So, when his teen son, Lucas, wanted to learn how to drive (in Mathison’s fancy Maserati, no less), Mathison was more than happy to help him get behind the wheel. During their driving lesson, on an early Sunday morning in an empty parking lot, Mathison also learned a thing or two himself. Here, he explains.
I wanted to make the moment special. Lucas is a huge car and driving enthusiast (he even has his own Instagram account dedicated to cars @pricey_exotics) so this was a big deal for him. My main objective was to make it fun. This is a memory that he’s going to remember his whole life, so I wanted to keep it light and not too instruction-oriented.
I’m a huge pushover. I was planning on teaching him in our Dodge Durango, but he talked me into letting him drive my Maserati Ghibli.
My son is more conservative than me. Lucas was nervous at first and he started off going super crazy slow. I never thought that I would have to encourage him to go faster. I wanted to try and get him a little closer to real driving speed—even 25 to 30 miles an hour, which is still not fast, but closer to what you would go on side streets. I learned he was more cautious than adventurous.
I needed patience. I found that I needed to use patience with him when it came to getting a little more speed. We were really crawling along there for a long time. I kept waiting and waiting and he was still super slow. I didn’t need patience for things going wrong; I actually needed patience for him to kind of speed things up a little bit, which was a surprise for me.
I learned that it was a great way to bond. As a dad, I try to really have one-on-one time with both of my kids. This is something that he and I really bonded over. We go to car shows together, I see pictures of cars and send them to him. Cars are something we have bonded over. So, the first time driving is right up there with the first time riding a bike. It was a very memorable experience.
My son has great taste. Lucas already has his car picked out. When he finally gets his license, he wants an Audi. He has the rims picked out and everything. I told him my first car was a lime green Mazda 626. I don’t know the year, but it was old! I told him he’s lucky if he gets a Honda Civic! And that’s still a better car than what I had!
It’s important to focus on the positive. I didn’t nitpick his mistakes behind the wheel. I laid out the basics, but I really wanted to focus on the positive and reinforce what he was doing. I wanted to be as uplifting and positive as possible, because I wanted him to feel comfortable to do it again.