difficult child and "her" car


Well-Known Member
Back when difficult child moved here to live with us we discussed her needing to get a new car. The reasons were simple: The costs to ship it here were high. If we waited a year we could save up for the shipping. It's a little bit older but still in great condition. It would be a good starter car for easy child to learn in. It's a Toyota Prius 2005 that's survived a teen driver for 3 years already. Shoot I think it has the right to live on as a teen car. LOL

husband and I own it and since difficult child isn't currently attending school it's time she got some things of her own. Anyway when we discussed it we agreed to match the amount she saved and help her get the car. Basically she would have the loan but we would help with a down payment. difficult child was immediately car shopping online. Thankfully my aunt drove the car out here so difficult child didn't have to rush things. difficult child can keep driving the car until easy child gets her full license.

So last Saturday husband and I took the girls to the craft store for yarn and headed out to eat dinner before going to the mall. While at dinner the subject of easy child's birthday came up. She will turn 15 soon and here in WA state they can get their permit then. Then they spend forever with the permit before they get a license. I think it is almost a year if not a little more. difficult child asked what kind of car easy child would be driving. My response was a 2005 Toyota Prius. difficult child went mad. It isn't fair we aren't taking her car. Since I no longer engage in that kind of crap I gave her the "we are in a restaurant" talk and told her to keep it down. She immediately pulled out her phone and starts the angry texts back and forth with her boytoy. She probably threw in my parents as well since she loves to show them what a horrible mother I am. I didn't care, as soon as the next nasty comment was made I got my coat and walked out. husband came and got me a little later from the store next door.

The ride home was more of the same. difficult child telling us no one does this to their child. She's basically homeless and trying to save money for school, an apartment, and now a car. She kept telling me to give her a f-ing date when we were taking the car. I just ignored her.

We didn't speak that night or the next day. She tried a comment but I made a non-commital reply and walked away.

Yesterday difficult child was supposed to pick up easy child from school and easy child was pulling some typical teen crap with the times. difficult child immediately ratted her out and then wanted to know what we were going to do about it. I told her I would deal with easy child and I did. When I got home she was once again riding easy child's butt about some perceived issue and wanting to know what I was going to do to punish her. I made it quite plain that I would deal with it and she needed to cut it out. I am the parent and I didn't need the help. difficult child kept it up so I told her I was certainly not going to punish easy child based off of difficult child's opinions especially considering she can't control her own emotions and act like an adult. Of course that started difficult child on the car again.

Thankfully husband was there. difficult child immediately wanted to pull me into an arguement. The moment I heard the change in her voice and that nasty tone I walked away. I simply wont deal with that anymore and told her so.

husband broke it down for her. You don't talk to us with disrespect. You have over a year to earn the money for a car. You don't have to pay for it in full with cash. You jump from pleasant to crazy town in 10 seconds the minute we say something you don't like. You then want us to just let it go. You are not homeless and no one has told you that you have to move out unless of course you keep this crap up. You haven't said a word about wanting to attend school in months and have in fact made it pretty clear you had no plans to anytime in the near future. Last but not least we deserved an apology.

difficult child apologized in one sentence and I agreed with husband that was all I wanted. We had a pleasant dinner and night.

Why oh why can't they just talk to us like normal humans? If she treated us with respect we would help her a million times more. We would work with her in finding an apartment. We would pay for the education or at least help as much as we could. We already agreed to match her savings towards the car. If she would just ask a few questions without the anger and let us explain the issue her life would be so much easier.

It's just so frustrating.....


Active Member
I can definitely relate to this frustration of the back and forth with difficult child/easy child teens. I admire your ability to get a short answer and walk away. Mine seem to be seeking some kind of "justice" all the time and feel like they're being treated unfairly or that the other one is more favored.

difficult child kept it up so I told her I was certainly not going to punish easy child based off of difficult child's opinions especially considering she can't control her own emotions and act like an adult.
I like that answer! Good way to put it!


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Mine seem to be seeking some kind of "justice" all the time and feel like they're being treated unfairly or that the other one is more favored.

Oh yeah I know all about that. It is one of the main reasons difficult child moved out. She thought easy child was treated so much better than her. Now she wants to poke and prod me to parent the way difficult child see's fit. Momma don't play that. LOL

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
You handled it perfectly. The "Entitlement Attitude" just boggles my mind. It is so obvious you have gone above and beyond to help her and continue to do so yet she acts like you have done nothing for her. Her comment about it not being fare you are taking her car, it's not her car it belongs to you, she was blessed that you let her use it.


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You did just fine. She is not owed a car. All my kids used our older car and when they dinked it up because they hit things at first, it stayed that way until they fixed it. It lasted ttwo kids. I have no idea why some parents and many teens think they need to get to purchase cars for kids, even if there isn't public trans around. They can use our cars. I think it's being a better mom NOT to buy a car for a non-working kid than to buy one. So on my scale, you're a stellar mom.

difficult child 37 always whined about not having a nice car and actually said "The girls won't like me if I don't have a nice car." Haha. No, the girls won't like you if you're not nice ;) These days the divorce humbled him. He can't drive his new Camarro's anymore. He has a car...I don't recall which kind he bought, but it's like a Toyota or Honda. Yeah, gas is expensive too, 37 :)

If we teach them, they do learn. Usually!!!!


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I guess I just saw it as kind of a natural progression. difficult child is growing up and chosing not to go to school so she needs to start taking over her bills. We tried to make her pay for her cell phone but my parents just added her to their plan. Next was her car insurance. We were about to hand that over when she lost/quit her job (still not sure which but I have suspicions). Today she is starting a new job so we will give it a month and then pass that bill on. I can only imagine the meltdown that will cause. LOL


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Miss KT had her grandfather's 1977 Chevy pickup for her first car, and she wouldn't have had that had her dad not given it to her. The boys didn't even get their licenses till they were 18.


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It's sounds like she is one of those people, who, when ever a crisis of any kind impends, first throw a hissy fit and only after that maybe start to think about it. Some kind of panic/anxiety reaction. For many that kind of behavioural model does lessen when they grow older and get more experienced and more self confident, but if she is not looking to actually do some serious self development, that behavioural model will likely stick to some degree. And it doesn't really endear her to other people.

I just had to deal with the similar, lucky for me much less explosive, hissy fit from someone I work with. Some protocols needed to be changed and I introduced her to new ways of doing something and she threw a hissy fit like I knew she would. First telling to my face, how this will not going to work, will make her work so much harder, how things will get mixed up and why on earth do TPTB always need to change everything when old system was working just fine. And now she is going behind my back telling everyone what a witchy boss I'm and how I don't understand anything about anything and especially about 'the real work' they do. She will calm down though after couple days and notice, that while slightly different (and more compatible with our data gathering system) the new thing is not any more time consuming nor worse than the old thing, but will just take couple days for her to learn to use smoothly. And hey, she can take this up everytime I'm trying to somehow meddle to her work for at least half a year ("I can't possibly have these done in time because that wretched protocol and reporting change you forced before Christmas, do you remember!" till next midsummer at least...)

Ach, she is actually good, reliable and very experienced worker and we will have trouble finding someone to replace her when she retires in few years, but darn can she throw hissy fits.

Well, anyway, I think you are spot on in how to deal with that throw a hissy fit first, think later-attitude. Not engaging and simply giving her simple facts about situation and letting her stew it over. She is a smart girl, she will adapt, when given bit time to think it over.


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This is exactly what my son does, Suzir. You explained it very well. By the way, your English is terrific.

At any rate, this does become a problem. Every time my son is stressed, and the more he is stressed the harder it becomes for him to control himself and he says and does very antagonistic things, the you-know-what hits the fan. He seems to revert to age two and has a tantrum, namecalls, makes unreasonable demands, abuses others and sometimes he used to and maybe still does break the law. He simply can not function under stress without getting crazy. And when he is under stress plus drinks, which is one of his coping mechanisms, it is all the more awful. One time last year he threatened to come to my house and shoot me if I did something that I would never do anyway, but it set him off. He's never touched a gun and probably didn't mean it, but to this day I get the chills when I think about it. When we talked about it later he dismissed it with, "Well, you know how stressed I was at the time and you saidd (I forgot what I said)."

It is not ok. It's really good to learn how to handle yourself when upset if you have trouble doing it. I'm going to go back to my favorite method, which is dialectal behavioral therapy. I think it rocks, although it may not do it for everybody. This is an important skill to have. Like Suzir said, nobody wants to deal with somebody who you just know is going to explode when stressed, a little or a lot. It is a must-have skill for most to function both socially and especially in the working community. Loose cannons do not do well in life. They are too stressed out without the proper knowledge of how to handle things, but as adults there are very few allowances made for this. It simply becomes the person's huge problem that causes him or her tons and tons of trouble.

Well said, Suzir. I know I didn't say exactly what you meant, but I liked your post.


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MWM: You are right, it is very maladaptive coping mechanism, but of course severity and explosiveness of it makes a difference on how maladaptive it is. With your 37 it seems to be very explosive and that is why it is also very harmful for him and even scary to you and others around him. With my subordinate it is mostly just irritating, because the real explosiveness is not there, not at work at least.

I have known quite a many people who do have this behavioural model and how maladaptive it is of course really depends from explosiveness of it. And in my experience for most it tends to be more explosive and worse when they are still at their teens or early twenties, and they learn to deal little better when they mature. Doesn't happen to all, of course. I also think that very mild case of this is very common and typical (or maybe I just think so, because I too tend to have it at times. I mean I have kicked a car tire and gone through all the swear words I know when my car has left me on the side of the road at the very bad time and so on. I'm actually rather self-controlled and calm person, but getting angry first, then actually starting to figure out how to solve a problem after calming down is something I do at times. I just don't usually let my anger out much.) Some people just get more stuck to the panic mode, and also will wheel that panic worse and worse, instead of getting more smoothly to problem solving mode. And of course people react to panicky feelings differently, some get angry, some get physical symptoms, some get weepy and desperate and so on.

It takes some maturity and personal growth to recognise your own models and then maybe control and develop them to more efficient ones. And for some those models are so severe or so dysfunctional, that changing them can be really difficult and need a lot of professional help. But of course Dstc's daughter is still very young and in the beginning of her road to really maturity, so I would be hopeful that she actually will develop more appropriate coping mechanism, or lessen the negativity of current ones, when she matures a bit.


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Suz, I agree with you on all fronts. Youth is a factor. Young adults can change and learn control. Also, believe it or not, 37 was far worse in his 20's. You are lucky that your son, and I am not downplaying his mental health issues, is at least capable of being frightened without getting violent. It is so much easier to actually TRY to help somebody if you are not afraid of them.

You are very wise for being so young. (Young to me is under 50...lol). I also have difficult child tendencies, as I've explained. I've cussed and kicked and punched pillows too and had to learn to be calm in the moment because panicking doesn't help the situation. Often it clouds one's thinking. But I can not seem to relay this to my son, although he at least gives my advice a hearing. But then he'll say, "That's you. I can't do it." And he won't try or go for help. He also relies on drinking far too much. It's his go-to coping mechanism.

Thanks for your always stellar input.


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You are lucky that your son, and I am not downplaying his mental health issues, is at least capable of being frightened without getting violent. It is so much easier to actually TRY to help somebody if you are not afraid of them.

Yes, my difficult child is a runner. His go to reaction when panicked is to bolt. Caused a lot of scary issues when young (all those running aways from school, hiding, police searching him, search and rescue teams, drag searching him from the rivers and so on), but of course as an adult you can trust more to him keeping safe while on the run. Even when he is cornered and can't flight and has to fight, his weapon of choice is his tongue. He may be destructive to property when retaliating and that can sometimes feel scary (cutting your clothes or even slashing your tires for example did feel personally threatening), but to be honest, that too is mostly in past now (getting from teens to twenties has matured him a lot too.)

Of course my kid has also worked hard with his sport psychiatric with getting out of the reactive aggressiveness, passive aggressive, retaliating and aversive conflict solution methods and is working towards proactive assertiveness. Far from perfect, but he is making some progress (especially when not over stressed) and in fact is already rather good at recognising his behavioural models, especially after first panic has faded. Of course he seems to have also developed self harm to be one of his coping mechanism that is of course very bad, but he is at least trying to work with his issues, that is huge positive.

With your son the biggest issue seems to be, that he himself is not ready to work with self development, so only thing you can do, is deal with his reactions in the way that is not harmful to you. My kid's willingness to work with his issues changes that ball game completely. With Dstc's daughter ruling about that is still very much out. She is very young and while clearly quite nasty at times, doesn't seem to be dangerous. And she certainly has enough time to mature and learn to cope better than she currently is. And Dstc is doing great job learning to deal and relate to her now in the way, that doesn't escalate situation in unnecessary ways and especially is healthy for herself.


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Thanks for your input, Suzir. I wish I would have appreciated it earlier, but...hey, I'll always live on a learning curve.

I think you are right again on all counts. Certainly "adult" children are in different places at eighteen, where there is lots of flexibility for growth, than at age thirty-seven. Now there is still room for growth all one's life, I believe, but only if you want to change things about yourself. And my son has often expressed happiness with himself and how well he has turned out. In his mind, financial success means you are doing well.

I think your son tries very hard, just as you do. I am very happy he got the contract (hope I'm not making a silly mistake because I don't understand athletic contracts...lol). Just glad he will have some stability and get to settle down now and hopefully he will shine.