I need to vent and need your ideas

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Iamwipedouttoo, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. Iamwipedouttoo

    Iamwipedouttoo New Member

    I just recently posted here about my 17 year old daughter (see sig below). She's making me crazy.

    She's had a driver's permit for over a year now. My husband refuses to drive with her so I've been teaching her. Every time we get in the car and have to intervene by asking her to do something other than what she is doing (like, hey keep an eye on this car traveling too fast before you pull out into traffic, etc.) she gets really mad at me. I've tried keeping quiet but after two near miss traffic accidents and one rear ending (to us because she had to stop short) I'm a little concerned with her ability to pay attention to what is going on to keep her and anyone else in the car out of harms way.

    Well, despite all that, I have continued to work on letting her drive as much as possible. Then this happens...

    Two Fridays ago I picked my daugher up from her job. She drives home and asks me if her boyfriend could stop by. It was 11:10, her curfew is 11:30. When I told her that was fine but he would have to leave when she had to come in she goes into a rage while driving, scaring me. She started screaming and waving one hand around yelling about that would only be 15 minutes and they were trying to work things out and I was ruining it and calling me every name in the book.

    I was proud of myself for remaining calm during all of this. I kept telling her quietly that he was allowed to come over, he just needed to leave when she had to come in, etc. Well, she didn't calm down and I was really frightened to be in the car with her so I decided then and there that she would not be driving my car until I knew for sure she could control herself.

    That was a week and a half ago. She has actually been very good about not asking to drive, more than typical for her and has been making an effort to control herself other times, though she still goes into rages pretty much every time when things don't go her way (well be working on house rules this weekend AGAIN).

    Well, she asked me if she could drive to work today as we were coming out the door and because I'm still scared to drive with her I told her no, not today. She was mad, of course, so I had to deal with faces and mumbling under her breath the ride there but it was better than the all out warfare I usually get to experience...unfortunately she made her point when we arrived at her work when she slammed my car door when she closed it.

    I am looking for suggestions on how to handle this. This child needs to learn to drive and I want her to drive but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to come up with a plan for her to work toward earning the privilege of driving back when she can't control her anger. Some of her anger IS because she does not have her driver's license yet due to her attitude like mentioned above.

    Is me allowing her to drive when she hasn't proven she can control herself me giving in to her, enabling her, or is it trying to help her by working toward something she wants? Should I make her driving conditional?

    I just don't have a clue anymore and maybe some of you have experience with this and can clue me in to what may work and what may not. I'm at a loss. I don't want to be in a car with her anymore and quite frankly I'm getting so tired of driving her around because inevitably she come up with something to try to argue with me about.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I, for one, would prefer your daughter NOT to drive at all it she is having out of control rages because she is going to wind up killing someone. Driving is a priviledge, not a right....and her attitude and behavior demonstrate that she is not responsible to be in control of a large vehicle that can injure, maim and kill under the best of circumstances. (Road rage anyone?)

    My daughter will NOT even be getting a Learner's Permit until we can get her rages under control. There is just too much risk involved. I cannot trust that she would drive responsibly if something made her angry behind the wheel.

    Probably not the advice you were hoping for--but my opinion, nonetheless.

  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I'm with DF on this one. Driving may be considered a sort of "rite of passage", but in reality it is a "rite of true responsibilty".

    If your difficult child cannot control her behavior or take direction, she has no business behind the wheel under any circumstances.

    in my opinion, NO-ONE who has "rages" should be allowed to drive. Sadly, there is no way to enforce this once parental responsibility ends.

    Your job as a parent is to ensure that other drivers on the road are safe, not just your difficult child.
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So, you deny the privilege. Then what? She does not get to drive and you are stuck still being in the car with a miserable child all the time. What about the independence she needs to experience.

    Can you tell I am in the EXACT same position as you??!! LOL!

    I await the answers from others.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I really do NOT think that she should be driving. I am sure that it is less convenient for you, but how convenient will it be when you have to keep visiting her in jail or the ICU because she got mad and hit someone with a car or drove up to the person she was mad and and ran over them?

    Will it be worth that to have her be able to drive?

    She needs to spend a few months WALKING to where she intends to be. Still with the curfew, must have phone and answer it if she is our of the house.

    She is in NO way ready to handle the huge responsibilities that driving heaps upon you.

    What do you think a JUDGE would say if you had to go to court because she caused an accident or she gave in to road rage (or any other kind of rage) and destroyed someone's home, business, car, or LIFE? do you think the judge would say "Oh, well, since it is so ahrd to drive her places because she makes faces and mumbles, so you are off the hook for this."

    I can tell you right here that you will NOT hear that. You will be held accountable partly because she is your child and even more because you actually SAW her rage while driving.

    I would introduce hert o public transportation, her comfy sneakers to walk in, and maybe friends to help her out. Let her have a LONG time to show she can keep it together. Maybe until Christmas or Easter for the change to be reliable.

    What other kids do is not relevant. Our difficult children are not like other kids. Not at all!

    Go to the police station and talk to someone there about this. Or the Sheriff if that is the place that you have. Either one will be OK.

    Tell them about your difficult child. Her age, her diagnosis, her refusal to comply with treatment and rules, etc....

    Be SURE to tell the officer that you lived through a rage while she was driving with you and it was terrifying. No way to stop and get out, no way to not have a heart attack! Make SURE they know she raged while she had control of the car, not that she raged while you drove.

    If, after hearing this, the police officers think it is fine for her to get a license then I guess they know what they are talking about. But chances are they are NOT going to tell you it is all ok.

    I am sorry.
  6. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    I have to agree with those who vote "no" to driving.

    I told difficult child that there's no way on earth I will let him get a learner's permit until I see that he shows good judgment in other areas of his life. If he cannot make good decisions when he has time to think, evaluate and anticipate consequences, he sure won't be able to make good decisions in an instant when he's behind the wheel.

    I know it's hard. I want to share the fun of difficult child learning to drive. I want him to have that privilege. But I just can't allow it. There's too much at stake -- his life and the lives of others on the road.

    I agree that independence is important. But your daughter can learn to be independent by getting herself places on a bicycle, or by walking, or, depending on where you live, using public transportation. I know that this isn't how we want things to be, but when you're raising a difficult child, not much is.

  7. Babbs

    Babbs New Member

    If you look at her ability to control her emotions and behavior as being delayed developmentally, this may put it in perspective. If she's acting more like a 13 year old - well should 13 year olds drive?

    I agree, as tough as it is to say no, driving is a responsibility to be earned and a priviledge in our society. In the state I live in driver's ed is 100% paid for by parents so most kids in my school district don't get their learner's permit until 18 because their parents can't afford the $500 for lessons. If the teen needs to go somewhere they learn to use public transportation.

    Please please please remember that putting someone behind the wheel of a vehicle who can't control their rages is akin to putting a drunk driver behind the wheel - they have just as impaired judgement and reaction times.

    If she's very motivated to get her license, why not make it a positive reward? For example, if she controls her temper and refrains from either hit, throw or become physically agressive (or which ever behaviors you're trying to extinguish) 8 days out of a 10 day time period she earns a driving lesson? And after so many lessons she needs to demonstrate the skills you've been teaching?
  8. Iamwipedouttoo

    Iamwipedouttoo New Member

    Thank you so much for all of the great advice and for talking some sense into me!

    I cannot begin to express how much I appreciate all of you here.
    husband and I always felt that driving is an earned privilege. difficult child doesn't seem to get it though we've told her over and over what our concerns are and what we expect her to show us so she can earn the privilege.

    difficult child was making me feel like a bad parent for not allowing her this right of passage. And, here, I fell for it. How naive was I? I need to learn to trust my instincts more and put how she feels about it on the backburner.

    I feel so mad at myself for allowing her to manipulate me like this. As I open my eyes to her, I have realized that she's done it to husband and I over and over about various things. She's downright ticked that her little attempts at getting her way aren't working anymore and is definately acting out in some respects. Shame on me for allowing it to work in any case, no matter how small. Grrrrr.

    Thank you all for helping keep me strong. I was ready to cave once again.

    I'm going to talk to our therapist about how we can come up with a plan to get her moving towards realizing her goal to drive the next time we all go in to see her together. If difficult child can't meet that plan (which will basically mean her getting her anger issues under control), she doesn't move toward getting her license. It will be her choice. Not mine.

    Give me strength!
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Coming in late...and here's my input.

    Does she want to drive, or do you want her to drive? If she doesn't want to...problem solved. No more driving.

    If she can't control her rages, she has no business behind the wheel. If she doesn't like you teaching her, make her pay for classes. I "made" Miss KT take the classes, because I knew it wouldn't work with me teaching her. I didn't think she would pass her driver's test, but she did. However, the privilege of the keys was tied to things like grades, civilized behavior, medication compliance, etc. The keys were pulled several times, and she finally got that I wasn't kidding. She was still scaring the patootie out of me, and I hated riding with her.

    I don't know what state you're in, but here in CA they can get a license without taking driving classes at 18. They still have to pass the test, though, and if Miss KT was still being a major poop, she would not have been allowed to use my car for the test.

    My recommendation? A bus pass. It worked wonders on Miss KT when she realized I was really NOT going to haul her rude and hostile self all over the place. Good luck...it is so not fun to deal with this.
  10. Iamwipedouttoo

    Iamwipedouttoo New Member

    In our state once you turn 18 you can get your license on your own.

    She has wanted to drive since she's turned 16 and friends started to get their licenses.

    We are concerned with her driving because there is a very real possibility of her getting into an accident because she doesn't seem to get just how large of a responsibility it is (therapist said people with ADHD were more likely to get into car accidents in general). My car, the car she does/will drive, is paid for, 55K miles on it and I like it and need it. We do not want another car payment. Our solution was to buy her a reasonable first car that we could deal with a fender bender caused by her but she blew that. My husband and I also have a really big problem paying an additional $140 a month for car insurance for a child that treats us like crud, too!

    As far as me - I had hoped she'd be driving because I see how it is affecting her independance and peer relationships - it took until May of this year to realize that her not driving is an embarrassment and a hassle. Even when the car dangled as a reward didn't work, we had hoped that the embarrassment and hassle would get her to try to do what she needs to do to get driving.

    I guess I need to get over worrying about her driving since her actions caused the situation and her anger issues are intefering with the process she needs to go through to get the training she needs.

    She just got a disgnosis of ADHD last month so her not being able to follow through on long term tasks now explains a lot, not only with driving, but a lot of things. I guess I'll just have to figure out how to work within a new set of ideas. Whatever those may be...

    Why doesn't she see that we are being more than reasonable? I'm at a complete loss. I just don't get it.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    At her age NO ONE thinks anything a parent does is "reasonable'. It is part and parcel of being a teen.

    It really doesn't matter if she is embarrassed or anyone is hassled. If she is not mature enough then you should not let her drive. It isn't about being hassled or embarrassed. It is about handling a deadly weapon. period.

    NO WAY should you be paying her insurance. If she wants to drive then SHE can get a job and pay her insurance. MILLIONS of kids her age are doing it and have done it every year.

    If all her friends carried guns at age 17 would you let her do that? Is she mature enough to be safe with one, to not use one on someone who is "bothering" her? A car is just as deadly or more so. It is easier to hit someone with a car than with a bullet.

    Time to turn the problems caused by not driving over to her. Make her PAY for rides. Give her a bus card and if she wants to go somewhere she can walk or find a bus.

    If she wants a license at 18 make sure she is NOT living with you and cannot be on your insurance. Call your insurance agent and make them note your policy that she is NOT to be added on. It is more expensive to get her own policy so she might just call and try to get added on to yours. If you call first this won't happen.
  12. Iamwipedouttoo

    Iamwipedouttoo New Member

    Thank God for you all. Seriously.

    and the information about the car insurance, too. I would have never knew that.

    Trying to stay strong here!
  13. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    We have kept Miss KT on our insurance, and will continue to do so, as long as she is attending college, getting decent grades, is working part-time, and acting like a reasonable person. I realize that our decision isn't right for everyone, because everyone's situation is different, but I figure that if she's doing what I want her to do, I'll help her be successful.
  14. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    My son is 19 and still has his learners. He has not proven to us that he is capable of making smart decisions so we don't let him drive. Yes, it's held him back plenty, but to me, the responsibilty of driving is an earned right for responsible adults.

    When he starts acting like a responsible, young adult, we'll be more than happy to teach him the ropes and maybe even let him drive our vehicle.

    I think we're still a long way off....

    Good luck, I know how difficult your situation is.

  15. compassion

    compassion Member

    I did let difficult child get a copy of her learner's permit yesterday and she did a good job of driving . She gets to drive with me, I hold her driver's permit as she gets more practice. She has similar issues and attitudes. I am holding firm but ehn she is more stable letting her do this incingng towards independence with me or my husband present. It is a rite of passage and a privilege. It is harder when the teens have focus issues. It is a day at a time. When she is meidcated, the rages are much under control. Impulsivity is a HUGE issue. I do not see her being able to have a driver's licnese for a long, long time. She deos not want to take a bus. She hates having to wait for rides with parents or friends. It is her reality though. I also have to hide keys. I am grateful she drove yesterday with a lot more descretionthan often times. Compassion
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm coming late to this, but have to put in my NO vote.
    She's developmentally absolutely not ready.
    Driving can wait.
    It's not so much a matter of earning the privilege as maturing, overall.
    Best of luck!
  17. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Also another one coming in late. Daughter got her license about a month and half ago. She didn't get her permit until she was 17 1/2 and she just turned 18 a few days ago. At 16, there was just no way she had the judgement and maturity to drive a car. I simply told her, "There's no way you're driving my car".

    I did nothing to help her get her license either. She had to do all of the footwork.

    (When I was 16, I had already taken Driver's Ed and Training and had my permit. My Dad picked me up from school on my 16th birthday to take my driving test. I passed and got my license.)

    When she would drive, she had better not argue with me, or that will be the end of her driving.

    Here's something I will offer you that I have learned from raising two difficult children teens.

    *When they want something, there is NO EXPLANATION you can offer that will satisfy them as to why they should not have it*

    So, I just don't explain it anymore. Son, who is 13, thinks I should just let him walk to a friend's, who lives a mile away, at 11:30 at night! Of course, he wants to know, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY NOT?? Nothing I tell him makes a difference. It's just back and forth arguing. So, now, it's just "no" from me and I ignore his blathering and tantrums.

    Back to the driving. Daughter worked all summer to save for a car. I'm proud of her because she saved quite a bit and worked very hard. She has gained a bit of much needed maturity. I even allowed her to drive my car to work. However, we had to put her on our insurance, and the amount the insurance went up, she paid for. Like KTMom91, as long as she goes to school, passes her classes, and works part time, she can use my car until she saves enough to buy her own.
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I took drivers ed early so that at 15 1/2 I could get my temps and help my mom drive to my Gma's in Florida. We already knew we would be helping her move into an assisted living place.

    Here you could take driver's ed and go driving with the teacher as long as you were a sophomore. You just couldn't drive with anyone else.

    Wiz still just has his temps. He will be 18 in Nov. My parents started to push him to drive more over the summer. I may let him have my LeBaron. It is old and in need of work but the tech school he is in will repair a student's care for the cost of the parts (if that - they get a huge discount on parts). Since it hasn't run in 6 months I see no reason he cannot have it. With my medications I shouldn't drive for a while anyway.

    Don't give them reasons. They will use them to justify their actions and manipulate you.

    That is one of the most powerful lessons I learned while difficult child was in psychiatric hospital. Even now all we have to say is "justifying" and he stops. He has been out of the psychiatric hospital for almost 6 years!

    Lots of hugs. Parenting teens is not for the faint hearted. parenting difficult child teens requires more power than Superman, Spiderman, all the Xmen and WonderWoman all combined!!

    (I want an invisible jet like WW!)
  19. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just to pipe back in here. I do have the rules all in place. She has to work and pay for her own insurance and of course the gas to get around. My child is not violent. She can be impulsive. She is a very careful and considerate driver.

    I held the getting a job over her for not being allowed to take the driver test. I did it backwards. I should have let her take the test and then not be able to drive the car because she had no money to get around.
    So, we have waited 2 years for the driving test. I had a discussion with her about the job (she just refuses to apply - anxiety, in my humble opinion) and the driving test. I told her I would now allow her to take the test so she could get to college and work. She has failed it twice - which seems to be par for the course around here. She should not have failed the 2nd time - he tricked her. But, she is scheduled to take it again soon. Once she has the license I will allow her to take it out twice on me. Then she has to have the money to use the car - I am keeping my fingers crossed that it motivates her. If it doesn't than she will not be driving on my dime.

    It is really important to lay down the rules for ADHD kids. I do not have a ton of rules because she ends up ruining too many important things for her growth and maturity. I have learned.

    For those of you that take the hard line - hats off to you! I wish it worked with my difficult child. It just does not. Again, I think there is an anxiety aspect to my difficult child that prevents her from experiencing things that I feel are important. So, I do not use them as punishment/rewards with her. It always backfires.

    So, my advice is to think about your difficult child, your family situation and really figure out what it is that works for you guys. It is not always black and white. AND it is NOT always traditional parenting that gets the job done.
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Amen BW!!

    So very often what works for our families is very much different than what we "expected" to work. For many of us the Explosive Child approach seems totally illogical, unwise and sometimes even looks like we are spoiling or overindulging them.

    Our kids just don't respond teh "normal" way. Often they are not even playing the sport for the ballpark we think we are playing in. As you can imagine, telling someone how to play soccer by giving them barrel-racing info and expectations is a real recipe for anger and frustration!

    This is one of the reasons we MUST follow our instincts. We can offer opinions and ideas here, so can the docs. the docs can rx medicines and other therapies, but ONLY the parents can say if it seems like a good idea to try what the "pros" say.

    Because the ONLY "expert" or "pro" in regards to our children is US. That is why we have instincts - to protect our children.

    If something "feels" wrong in regards to treating your child, then it should not happen. Just in my opinion, of course!