Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by KFld, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. KFld

    KFld New Member

    O.k. so I had a great alanon meeting last night, but it definatley gave me some food for thought.

    You all know the issue with my sons car, it still isn't fixed and should be any day now, but his license is suspended and he has to go to court on 3/21, less then a week away, and then it should be restored shortly after that.

    I gave him the option the other day of my boyfriend and I continuing to drive him everywhere until he gets his license restored, even if his car is driveable before then and I told him if he makes the choice to drive without his license, gets pulled over, his car gets impounded, he loses his license for longer, you get my drift, that he isn't to call me. I will want nothing to do with it and will not drive him back and forth to work or anywhere else after that because we gave him the option to make the right choice, and if he doesn't, he'll have to suffer the natural consequences if he gets caught, which is a lot of what the alanon meeting was about last night, natural consequences.

    Yesterday my boyfriend said because we are paying for his car to be fixed, which we chose to do because he's back in treatment, working full time and paying for his hotel, that we should just tell him we aren't giving him the keys until he gets his license back because we don't want to throw $900 out the window just to have him get caught and have his car impounded two days later.

    So which is enabling???? Letting him make his own choice and drive the car when his license is suspended because he's 24 years old, living on his own and I shouldn't be manipulating his choice, and make sure I stick to what I told him I will not do if he gets caught, or since it is costing boyfriend and I money, do we make him follow the law and tell him we aren't giving him the car we just paid for until he has his license back??

    There is such a fine line between enabling and supporting when they are doing the right thing, and manipulating a situation so you get the outcome that you want.

    Which is which???
  2. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Let him make his own choice. He pays the $900 and continues to drive, or he accepts your help (and support) of $900 AND the rides to work. He doesn't get the best of both worlds (in his world). If you give him the $900 and he drives anyway, I think that would be enabling. He would be stuck not driving, which is what he's supposed to do, if not for that $900.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I have to agree with you, supporting is letting him make the choice. He knows the consequences. Your boyfriend's route gives him no choice.
  4. KFld

    KFld New Member

    The fact is though that we are paying for his car to be fixed, but we decided to do this. He didn't ask. We offered because he's in treatment, he's doing well with his job and without a car, he would lose this job. He works 4 to midnight, no buses run at that time and it would cost him $40 a night to take a cab home and we can't continue to drop him off and pick him up at midnight much longer. My dilema is we gave him the choice to make, told him the consequences, but we are paying for the car to be fixed and could be throwing that money right out the window if he gets pulled over and the car gets impounded.

    It's his car, it's in his name, he's paying the insurance, but we are paying for it to be fixed, so do we pick it up when it's finished and keep the keys until he gets his license back, or take the chance that we chose to pay for this repair and if he screws it up, I have to stand by what I said and walk away, which I know I can do because I have made it very clear what the natural consequence will be for his choice??
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Yes, the choice is his - however...... you can offer to keep the keys if he would like you to with the understanding that you will hand them over whenever he asks for them.

    My 14 yr old difficult child informed me last night that it is his life and he gets to decide when he goes to a friend's house and how long he gets to stay there. At 14 he is feeling restricted, I can imagine how restricted a 24 yr old would feel over someone else placing the boundaries around his life.

    Tell him that you are there to help if he wants it but it is his choice on what he does with the car and keys until he is legally allowed to use them. Ask if he wants to keep the car at your house (you would need the keys to move it if necessary) to keep from being tempted and if he says "no" than so be it. He may want to use the car as transportation if a friend drives him somewhere?
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    What would he do if you tell him you will be keeping the car and keys until he is cleared legally to drive? You could suggest it and see how he reacts. If he is o.k. with it than problem solved. However, be careful how you present it so as to keep the door open to the option that he can turn it down. "How would you feel if we hang on to the car until you are cleared to drive?"
  7. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I think it's perfectly ok to attach strings to the $900. There will be plenty of choices down the road for him to make and plenty of chances for him to prove he is on the right path, or to prove otherwise. Why tempt fate with only a few weeks to go? I'm with your boyfriend on this: This is what we are willing to do for you. You will get the keys when your license is restored.

    An in real life comparasion: You buy a house. You go to the bank, apply for a loan and give them a downpayment. Your loan is approved and you are given a closing date. Do they hand you the keys to the house and say "You can't go in until 3/21, but here are the keys anyway. If you choose to go in before the closing date, you will suffer the consequences."

    Of course not. And, of course, 90% of the population would not attempt to enter the house before closing. But they wouldn't give you the keys before the deal closed even if you were the Pope!

    So why give him the keys on a car YOU'VE paid to fix before his license is restored and he's clear.

    He'll have plently of temptation down the road. Give him the best chance of success that you can and then allow him to keep going forward, or to not.

  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have no idea how much it costs to get his license activated but I'm sure if he goes to Court there will be additional fines. If it's not too much I probably would offer to pay it upfront with a repayment plan that is set in stone. Coming up with a lump sum when you are working a low level job is difficult and if he is keeping his insurance up to date that probably shaves it pretty close for him. I wouldn't turn over the car with-o the license in place. Call it supporting or enabling..that's what I think I would do. Driving him daily is affecting your life and forcing you to be involved in his daily life. To me that is more costly than fronting the license money and also limiting independence...for you and for him. DDD
  9. KFld

    KFld New Member

    The fee was already sent in to restore his license, along with the restoration application. The court gave us the paperwork when he went to reopen the case and said to send it in right away and then DMV would also be informed electronically that he reopened the case. Supposedly once they get this fee, application and notification from the court that the case has been reopened, unless the court tells them there is an issue that has to be resolved before restoring his license, you usually get the letter saying it was reinstated within about 2 weeks, so I'm praying by the beginning of next week, before we go away on our cruise, his license will be restored and he can drive himself back and forth to work.

    I think I'm leaning towards taking the keys, since this is costing us money that I can't afford to be throwing out the window if he gets caught before it's reinstated. I know he's going to pitch a fit, but then I just have to tell him that he can't have the car until he pays for it then and that we aren't even going to pick it up when it's finished. I realize he's 24 years old and it's his car, but it's not his money fixing the car.
  10. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Looks like his car may not even be fixed before he gets his license back so I may not even have to make this choice. They still can't figure it out and the garage is towing it somewhere else to see if they can figure it out. This repair is going to cost us more then the car cost him!!
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hmm I understand the problem.

    You and boyfriend have dished out quite a bit of cash to get his car up and running to help him due to him making right choices. You've given him rides to and from work for those right choices. Nothing wrong with that. And I do see boyfriend's point of hey we put x amt of bucks into this car and if he gets pulled over driving without a license we just lost x amt of dollars for basically nothing. I see his point because I would have the same issue as money is too tight around here not to think that way.

    Enabling/helping can be a tight wire. You're not going to be perfect at it.

    If it had been me, I'd have specified up front that he wouldn't drive the car until he got his license back, still might have fixed it had I the money. Hindsight is 20/20 though and if that wasn't in the original agreement I wouldn't go changing rules on him now. We all know how difficult children do with that sort of thing.......and well, it's not really fair play.

    He's a grown up. He knows the risk involved with driving without a license.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There ya go!

    I have so stepped out of Cory and his driving. I could care less anymore. I know one day they will end up locking him up for it but until then, I keep out of it. I dont understand why Mandy didnt get her license when she had the chance to do it and now she is in almost as much trouble as Cory. I think they are both idiots. I bought him the scooter to attempt to keep him from getting more tickets but he is so stupid that he will only ride it when its warm. Oh well...I tried. If he wants to get in trouble...thats on him.
  13. KFld

    KFld New Member

    This car repair is probably going to cost us double of what we first anticipated, so I have decided, whether it was part of the agreement in the beginning or not, I'm going to tell him he is not driving the car until he gets his license back, if we even get the car back before the license.

    he is an adult and he is old enough to understand that I am putting out money I don't have to fix his car, only because he's working, staying clean and making the right choices, for today anyway. I'm going way out of my way, so he needs to learn to cool his jets and be patient! He needs to understand it's not a punishment, he's 24 for god sakes, but there also comes a time that you have to follow the rules and I'm not going to throw this money away.

    I drove him to his program this morning and he sounds like he is leaning towards choosing not to drive anyway :) which surprised me.
  14. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I think you have already decided to hold on to the keys which I agree with. It is a fine line between enabling and helping sometimes. I think my stand would be not to help do anything that you know would be to break the law and get him into more trouble... which if you pay for the car repair and then let him drive without a liscence you would be doing. So I would not pay for the car AND then let him drive without a liscense. I would pay for the car and let him wait until he gets his liscense OR I would let him pay for the car and do what he wants.