My son, who will be 15 next month, asked me today if he could get “behind the wheel time” with me in my car in the near future. I told him that he needed to take his current responsibilities more seriously before I would even consider it. He seems to think that I need to let him drive my car. I can’t get him to take care of his stuff, and he wants me to let him use mine. I need my car for getting to work to pay for things (like my car). I asked him if he knew what I was saying and he said “Yeah. Ask Dad if he will let me drive his car.” He might have been kidding, but my husband usually lets the kids do what they want. I just walked away. I feel like I do not matter. How else could I have responded to this? — Rebecca
Are you and your husband living under the same roof? If so, then you and your husband need to be on the same page. There needs to be rules posted in your home and one of the rules should say when he will be able to drive. Most kids I deal with have driving contracts that contain “Grades must be…” “Respect in the home…” “Chores…” “No illegals…”, of which driving before he is even 15 is against the law here in California. I do not know where you are writing from or even what the laws are in your state if you are not in California. Hopefully you are near one of our B.I.L.Y. groups and you will come for some needed support. Check our Locations page for the group locations.
You and your husband need to sit down and come up with some rules and chores and post them. Tell your son that his driving privileges will happen once he reached the legal age to get a permit, and of course once the rules are being followed. The playing of one parent against the other is not an option. It is part of the problem and needs to change. There are a lot more serious issues happening with youth today, and if you do not create the proper structure in your home, you may be opening the doors to some more serious behavior. Good luck. — Dennis