How to handle traffic ticket

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by bluebell, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    difficult child 17 got a speeding ticket and his court date is Monday. We talked with the court and he can take a driving class for $50 and be on probation or he can pay the 200 and let it go on his record.
    He's left our home as of last week and we've told him we will take him to get probation set up but he needs to come home, shower, and look presentable. He wanted my husband to pick him up this morning on his way taking daughter to school and go to court from there. But we don't want to pick him up from where he's staying. He will smell like an ashtray and bo and he'll be wearing his garanimals. That's no way to go to the probation office!
    Should we stand our ground and let him suffer the consequences? If this goes on his record I'll never be able to insure him again and what if he doesn't go to court? Will I get a summons since he's 17????

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  2. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hi Blue, wow, some of this sounds eerily familiar from days past.

    One thing I would think about: You are trying to control A. Whole. Lot. Of. Stuff.

    I know he's just 17 and that is a key factor.

    But you are experiencing what it is like to try to manage and control another human being's every action.

    It is impossible, exhausting, frustrating, maddening, scary, etc. etc.

    And it doesn't work. I would pick my battles.

    You could write down what you want to say to him, such as: Let's discuss your options, either the driving class or the $200. Here is what I see in terms of the outcome of each.....Clearly, ______ is the better option. Do you want to choose that option?

    Depending on what he says, you then talk about his appearance. Here is what I see in terms of the outcome of you going there dressed nicely or just as you are. Clearly, ______ is the better option. Do you want to choose that option?

    Say it one time. Accept his answer whatever it is. Let him suffer the consequences. I would still take him if that is necessary and what you have already decided to do.

    Keep it simple. I know you are trying to manage his legal record. It's really hard to do that when the person himself or herself doesn't know and doesn't care. In fact, it's impossible.

    I don't know if I have helped or not. In your case, I would do more than I am currently doing for my son, because your son is 17.

    But ultimately, if that doesn't help and if you are going nuts, you will have to stop and let the chips fall where they may.

    I know this is very, very hard. I am so sorry for your frustration, your hurt, your fear and your sadness.

    What have you planned for YOURSELF today, to take care of YOU? You matter too, just as much as he does.

    Hugs and warm prayers coming your way.
  3. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    Thank you! He's had many many court dates and appointments and what not in the last 5 years but he was always compliant. And I thought it was bad that we had to deal with that in the first place- now it's non-compliance and violence along with it!
    We did put the situation before him in a phone call and he chose probation but now there is no follow thru. We are no longer driving him around to his hangout so I know he doesn't want to get stuck at home without a ride back out to the apt. But I guess that is his priority! Maddening....
    And yes, I'm only worrying about this because he is still a minor. His legal record is destined to be crap, I'm worried about mine and dhs. Gawd that's something I never thought I'd say! Thanks much!

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  4. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    Oh and as for me - I'm going to meet my brother for lunch we both work downtown - a rare treat!

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  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Your son has made his choice. Better to have a speeding ticket on your record now, at 17, than something worse, later.

    He made his choice.

    You already explained his options.

    He made his choice. Just as it has been his choice to flaunt house rules and whatever else he has done to get himself to this place in his life. As he is so young, I would talk with him about what you wanted for him from his life. I would talk with him about what you are prepared to do for him re: education, vehicle, living arrangements as long as he is traveling the path you believe is the right path. You are his mother. You have that right to choose for him until he is fully grown. I would make it very clear to him that you have always planned to make these things possible for him. I would tell him that, because he is young, you are continuing to walk the path he's chosen for himself instead of the one you chose for him for just a little while longer. But tell him too that the day will come when you are going to take him at his word. And when that day comes, you are going to let him go to that life he has chosen. That you will wish him every success, but that the things available to him now as a matter of course ~ education, living quarters, legal help ~ those things will all become his own responsibility.

    Tell him you love him too much to watch him self destruct, and that, come a certain time, you will refuse to help him do that, in any way. That you will believe him, when he tells you through words or actions, that this is all he wants from his life.

    Tell him that the day will come when you will stop trying to change what he seems so determined to destroy.

    I don't know how we can help our kids wake up to what they are doing to their lives.

    It is a hard thing.

    Wishing you and your family well, Bluebell.

  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm of the opinion that showing up at the PO's office in geranimals is better than not showing up at all. It's also better to allow the PO to tell him to get his act together than to try to make him do the right thing himself.

    As for insuring him again? I don't know that that would be something I'd want to do.
  7. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    Well he texted my husband early that he didn't want to go today. He has till Friday, so I'll let you all know. Thank you all for the wonderful advice so far!

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  8. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Fwiw, we have to insure our kids - it's not optional even tho difficult child is 21 & easy child is 19 - because our home is their legal address. husband recently went toe to toe w difficult child to get him to legally change his dl address to his apartment. Even when we were totally estranged and difficult child had an apartment lease in his name; we had to
    Keep him on our automobile insurance. Something to do with underwriting and liability and it may be bc it's linked to our homeowners.
    I was so afraid that difficult child would get into an accident w a borrowed vehicle & the liability would fall on our insurance. I am relatively sure he is off now but I don't want to ask husband bc it became such a touchy subject.
  9. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    He came home last night and said he was staying so he could deal with the ticket today. He was quiet, which is fine - there's not much to talk about- only actions can save (or sink) him now. He seems very sad and between you and me that hurts to see but I can't let him see me hurting.

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  10. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Blue, I have learned that quiet can be good and I need to let him be quiet without my chatter, advice, thoughts, questions.

    And sad is natural. I haven't seen my son sad much actually. Your son should be sad at the choices he has made and where they have landed him.

    The alternative to sad is victim behavior or blaming behavior and arrogant behavior. That mix is what I have seen for years from my difficult child.

    Today, he is quieter when I am with him. I am reading that as progress. Or maybe not. But it sure is different.

    Keep your distance from him today if you can while still being loving and supportive. What that looks like for me, today, is this:

    not saying very much, smiling and hugging him, saying I love you, listening if he wants to talk, not asking questions, giving advice, yelling, controlling and managing, saying I know you can make good decisions for yourself.

    Just some thoughts. Please, take what you like and leave the rest. I hope things are okay for you and for him today and that good things are in the future.
  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I have a different perspective on this.

    We took my daughter's driving privledges away after she totaled our car while high (did drugs maybe contribute to this ticket?). I'm glad we did it because she continued driving (I give her this...she had a job and did pay her own insurance because we wouldn't and she was under 18), but she cracked up two more cars. They were not OUR cars...they belonged to "friends" of hers who were foolish enough to let her drive, although they were just as wasted as she was. One of her crashes was very serious and she owed some lady $14,000 years after she quit using drugs for an injury. Her dad paid it for her because by then she was living a good life and she was getting nowhere trying to pay it off. But while shej was still using, even while underage, she got zilch from us and had been on parole twice. If your son is getting high and drinking, he really shouldn't be on the road with any car, let alone one in your name. You will be held liable.

    My daughter got clean, and during her getting clean time she was in a strange place, had no transportation, and had to walk back and forth to her minimum wage job. She was very lonely because she couldn't party, but it really helped her think about her future. I'm not saying your son would make the same choice and he probably has plenty of friends willing to drive him around (for a while), but I personally would not be so quick to want him back on the road for ANY reason. My daughter is lucky she didn't kill herself or somebody else while driving under the influence of whatever. Yes, he will whine and say "but...then I can't work" but he can walk, take public transportation, car pool, etc." if he REALLY wants to work and it's not a priority that he can quickly access his drug-infested friends.

    Disclaimer: This is only my own opinion...take what you like and leave the rest.
  12. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    Just to clarify, He doesn't have access to his car, we are only waiting for the title to sell it. He did try the 'but then I can't work' routine when we told him we were selling it. So my husband said 'well supposing theoretically we keep it and you only drive it to work and school- would you abide by that?' Knowing that he couldn't even abide by a simple curfew and kept lobbying for that to change we knew he certainly could not live under these restrictions either. He had no comment, but his silence spoke volumes. So this experiment is over, he's just decided to keep the ticket off his record for the long run. I guess, he will still have to take a Saturday at some point and he may sabotage this as well. I'm not giving him the 200 dollars if he doesn't, consequences be darned.

    We can exclude him from our insurance policy in this state, I know you can't in all states. Our rates will drop dramatically.

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  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    If your son is 17 cant you ask DMV to pull his license? I would. None of my kids had a license before 18 and they were never listed on my insurance. I do know several people show up as living at my house when they pull up my insurance information but I just tell them that they keep my address as a mailing address and nothing more is said.
  14. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    Yes thanks, We've excluded him from our insurance policy.
    He's still home, had a touch and go moment with his sister yesterday, but otherwise calm. I think he's burned some bridges/worn out welcome with his pals. But this never lasts long...

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  15. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    Nope it did not last long. He did go to the drivers class today but stayed out all night the night before and he just left again. He wanted 'permission' to go to a 'kick it' all night. 'It's Saturday night mom and it's spring break. This is what all kids do. ' I cannot give my blessing, this is making me crazy. He's done nothing all week - I researched jobs that he never followed up on(but life and said he did), how is he on spring break? None of the people he hangs with are even in school, including himself. husband and I are arguing, difficult child asked before he left if we could pick him up from this 'kick it' at midnight, but it's far away and we didn't want him going in the first place so we said no. Now I'm struggling with that decision. Are we rewarding him by not picking him up? It's these gray areas that make us turn on each other...

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  16. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    "It's New Year's Eve, mom, I just want to hang with my friends"(said upon his release from three weeks in jail, said release enabled by me, based on promises to go STRAIGHT to men's shelter to talk to case worker and get on housing list....things he still hasn't done.
    Sounds similar, no?
    Do yourself a favor and stop researching jobs. It helped me a lot when I stopped investing time in "Helping" him better himself by doing stuff like that, to his smiling thank yous, only to have....nothing happen. Over and over. Just stop it.

    Child is right. It is exhausting to try to do for him, manage him, control him. It is maddening when he won't walk through the doors you open for him. Try not to put yourself in the position of being exhausted and maddened. It is all you can do right now.

    Hugs and sympathy,
  17. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    Thanks echo, I would think he'd want to find a job so he can have money, but apparently money isn't necessary anymore for the drugging and drinking lifestyle. It sure wasn't that way when I was growing up. I wasn't a saint, but I didn't go get sh** faced unless I'd put in an honest weeks worth!!!
    I picked him up this morning and I think he was still drunk, I'm still kinda mad about it, although I haven't said a word to him about it....this is not having a good time or letting steam off, this is self-medicating, dysfunctional addiction.

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  18. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    I had a girls' weekend this past weekend with two old and dear friends going all the way back to sixth and eighth grade. We have such a good time together.

    Of course we talked about difficult child, among many other things like recipes, eye brightener (you can google Jlo's eye makeup steps lol), decorating etc.

    At one point my one friend said ill get you the name of the rehab my niece went to for eight months. She is doing great now.

    Before I could respond, my other friend (who is a nurse at a center that has a brand new addiction unit) said: she doesn't need the name of that. He has to do it on his own and he still doesn't want to so what is the point?

    We all just nodded at each other. I didn't say a thing.

    I still have helping impulses and fleeting thoughts about things I can do/want to do/think of to do, but like she said what is the point?

    Today the point is this: stay out of the way and work on my own life.

    He and god will have to take care of his.

    It helps so much to write and read good thinking. It builds a growing stronger foundation that helps me stay on my side of the street.
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  19. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    I so agree with this.
    I used to do this sort of thing all the time.
  20. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    You ladies are brilliant. I love reading all this wisdom before I go to sleep...makes for a more restful night.

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