Beth and I went driving last weekend. She needed to learn to drive backwards. A friend of mine said that they had taken their kids to an empty parking lot and had them drive in backwards figure eights for two hours. It sounded like a good idea to me. So…Beth and I stopped at a McDonald’s and got a Coke and went to a parking lot. There is a vacant parking lot by us that doesn’t have the parking spaces drawn on it any more but it is still in good shape and it only has one light which is by the curb on one end, not in the middle of the lot. We got there and Beth asked what the driving directions were today. I said she needed to do backward figure eights for two hours. She said OK and started. First she drove making the figure eight really short. I asked her to use more of the parking lot. She made bigger ones. Then she stopped and did the figure eights going the other direction. After about twenty minutes she asked if we were done. I said no. She needed to do this for a full two hours. I said she still seemed shaky and unsure how the car would react when she made different turns. So many times when the girls are driving and they try to back out of a parking space they can’t figure out which way to turn the wheel to get the car to go the way that they want. We were now out of Coke and she was not ready for another hour and forty minutes off backing up, so I suggested that we go back to McDonald’s and get another Coke and come back to the parking lot. After we got the Coke we went back to the parking lot and she asked how much time she had left. I said an hour and forty minutes, I think she was hoping that the driving time to McDonald’s would count towards the backing up time. We do need to do the whole two hours. So she started driving. Beth did figure out how to do small enough circles that it turned my stomach. She didn’t do that all of the time, just when she could catch me off guard, then she would look at me out of he corner of her eye to see if I would react. She made big figure eights, and small ones and many too close to the light pole, just to watch me squirm. In the end she said that this had been a good idea. She felt a lot more confident. She was driving better too. We had spent so much time having her learn to drive forward it was good to have some time learning to back up.