A couple of Kayte’s guy friends were summoned to help drag the VW up into the family’s driveway.

“What are you going to call it?” one friend asked.

“Hmmm.” Kayte thought a minute about the engine fire and the huge cloud of smoke coming out from under the hood. “Nimbus Maximus, Nimby for short.” Then she regaled the guys with the story of the harrowing trip home. Little did she know it was the first of many great stories to come.

Looking at the car, installed in the driveway, suddenly the rehab job seemed intimidating to Kayte. Where to begin?

Welcome home, little Nimby

Just then her dad came to join her in sizing up the car. He carried with him a Chilton’s Guide to VW Repair Manual. He handed it to Kayte then he said,

“I want you to know that I am available any time to help you with this car. But, I will never touch it and I will never work on it without you. This is your project and you will drive the pace. Every day if you want; not for another five years, if you want. It’s up to you.”

Bob was good to his word. Kayte and he began by making a list of what they knew was wrong or needed to be checked out about the car.

Parents who are accustomed to success themselves can have great difficulty turning control over to their teens who may not work the way parents wish they would. By insisting that Kayte set the time line and agenda, Bob let her know right away that he would not take over the job. Many kids are robbed of “owning” a project because their parents just can’t keep out of it. As more than one kid has told me, “My mom/dad needs a life of their own! Someone already has this one!”

The task of working on the car was daunting to anyone, much less a kid who has never undertaken such a massive project. By creating a list, Bob taught Kayte how to approach a difficult situation, one bit at a time.