Since Mom of Finland is a known expert on everything on heaven and earth, backseat driving is no exception. In case someone is sitting on the passenger’s seat, or “riding shotgun”, quietly biting their lip, and need help on how to successfully backseat drive, here’s a guide to do it the right way, in style.

1. Make sure to verbally, or literally, point out the things you see. For example: light is turning green, now red, watch out for the pedestrian, there’s a tractor coming from the right, brake, stop, use the blinker, don’t forget to use the wipers, that car behind us wants to overtake, etc.

2. Don’t be afraid to take control. It is okay and sometimes even encouraged to grab the windshield wiper controls yourself, if the driver did not set them on the right speed.

3. Let it be clear that you are constantly evaluating the drivers performance, so that they know they will be in this perpetual driving exam for the rest of their lives. Or at least the rest of your marriage together. Make a scene, mimic driving but do it better, sigh, criticize and even chastise the driver if they make a mistake.

4. Remember to every now and then to order the driver to pull over and stop the car, because you just can’t take it anymore. Tell them you have to drive from now on since you are too scared to ride in a car they are driving. A sure way to improve your (lifelong) journey together.

5. After successfully completing the previous steps, prepare for the fact that the driver will cause an accident as soon as you are not there to watch over. When the driver is used to the constant advice from you, the backseat driver, he or she is incapable of driving alone. You have molded the driver into an empty shell, and without you being there to tell them how to drive, they will crash the car in an instant. Sometimes the driver might lose their temper and kick out the annoying nagging partner, forcing them to walk home in the pouring rain, but this is a risk well worth taking.

Photo by Darwin Vegher.

— Editors

The writer of this story is a member of the Mom of Finland community.


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