Author Topic: Not the back up plan  (Read 4039 times)

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lkdrymom

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Not the back up plan
« on: March 02, 2013, 11:13:17 AM »
Ok I just used my shiney reinforced tin foil spine to tell my teenage DD "no" to a request she made. I need words of encouragement to continue down this path.

Whenever my DD would make plans the first thing I would ask was what my involvement would be....am I driving, picking up, paying, times, places...whatever.  When I got answers to these question I would make a decision.  More times than I can count the plans would get changed and I would be expected to just 'go with the flow".  I agreed to Plan A, not to Plan B.  DD could never see what the big deal was.  The worst part was when I was told up front that my participation was not needed, everything was covered then at the last minute a parent would change their mind and I would be expected to cover at the last minute.  If I told her it would not work for me DD acted as if I was the one ruining everything for everyone. NO, I was not the one who bailed on the plans I am just the person who NOT available to save the day.

No that she is nearly 17 the plans are getting bigger.  She made plans with her friend to go to a concert. She said transportation was taken care of. Now friend says transportation is not taken care of and can I drive them there and other parent will pick them up. Concert is in South Jersey 90 minutes from here in March. So I am expected to drive 90 minutes, drop them off, then drive home. I wouldn't want to do that if the weather was good, never mind the potential for snow or freezing rain. (And before we go there, no comments on dropping off two 17 year olds at a concert with out an adult...it is not relavent to my post...and if I think she is capable of handling herself it should not be questioned).

I would love to hear some words of encouragement to continue down the Path of No. And I woulds also love a rebuttals I can give her when she gets home and is upset with me for not agreeing to drive.

Luci45

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Re: Not the back up plan
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2013, 11:23:50 AM »
You don't need a rebuttal. Simply ask her if she remembers what the original agreement was, tell her that was the information you were going on and your plans will not be changed. Maybe tell her that you would not have agreed to her going to the concert if your driving was part of it.

Don't you love teenage drama?  >:D

LadyL

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Re: Not the back up plan
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2013, 11:31:44 AM »
If you think 17 is old enough to attend a concert with only friends (and I think that's entirely reasonable) then it doesn't seem to be a huge stretch to also think she's old enough to find a friend to drive them or take the bus or train. You might tell her this.

I never had my own car in high school, and after age 16 or so I preferred taking the bus or train to getting rides from my parents. I was never allowed to borrow the car because of insurance rules in our state (rates would skyrocket if I was listed as a driver).  Many of my friends were freshman or sophomores in college with a lot more independence. Figuring out how to get around - whether by saving for a car or figuring out public transportation - is an important adult life skill.

My parents were very generous about driving my brother around everywhere and now he basically refuses to take public transit but also doesn't have his license so he is stuck bumming rides from friends. He's 24. It's really not cute.

WillyNilly

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Re: Not the back up plan
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 11:43:19 AM »
IMO if she'd old enough and responsible enough to go to a concert alone, she'd old enough to figure out transportation... or how to sell her tickets on Craigslist or Stubhub and plan better for next time.

If its at the Meadowlands I A) don't blame you for refusing to drive there and B) there are lots of public transportation options, although none are free, or quick.

I think this thread kind of goes hand in hand with the one in the family folder about letting kids learn the hard way. This is a concert, not life saving surgery, she doesn't need to go, she merely wants to.  And if she wants it enough she'll figure out a way, and if she can't figure out a way, maybe she isn't mature enough after all. 

ETA: that last bit ^ is what I'd say to her if she pushes. If she gets snarky, pouty, or eyeroll-y, you might even couch it with a big smile and "congratulations on how mature and intelligent I consider you to trust you to figure this out!  You aren't a little girl anymore and I won't treat you like one by driving you."
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 11:55:23 AM by WillyNilly »

Thipu1

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Re: Not the back up plan
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2013, 11:48:10 AM »
You are perfectly right to invoke the 'NO'. 

A 17 year-old is almost an adult.  In a year or so, she'll probably be going to college. She can't depend on her parents to always be there for Plan B. She has to learn how to arrange these things with her friends and the parents of her friends. 

You drive her and her friend to a concert 90 minutes away and then drive another 90 minutes back home.  The other parent is supposed to pick them up after the concert and drive them home.  If I read the original post correctly, the other girl's parents were originally supposed to drive them to the concert.  What are the chances that they may also bug out on this and you'll get the call to spend another three hours of driving to pick up the concert goers in the middle of the night?  The chances sound very good for them and bad for you.

Your tin-foil spine is getting a bit of titanium steel with this decision.  Keep it up. 

March weather in New Jersey can be vicious. 


Bethalize

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Re: Not the back up plan
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 11:51:36 AM »
I would love to hear some words of encouragement to continue down the Path of No. And I woulds also love a rebuttals I can give her when she gets home and is upset with me for not agreeing to drive.

Well done! You're teaching your DD to understand you are a person in your own right. It's important for children to understand that their parents are not extensions of themselves, just as it is for parents to understand that children are not extensions of themselves.

Tell her that no one gets to spend another person's time or money for them.

kherbert05

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Re: Not the back up plan
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2013, 12:09:10 PM »
I would NEVER had asked my parents to drive 90 min one way to drop me off at an event. 17 yo responsible enough to go to this concert should arrange their own transportation.
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JoyinVirginia

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Re: Not the back up plan
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2013, 12:23:51 PM »
If it was show I wanted to see also, then driving ninety minutes seems reasonable. If this is show you have no interest in, and there is nothing else you would want to do during show like shopping out visiting friend who lives there, then it is not reasonable for your dd to expect you yo spend the hours on the road being a taxi service.
Tell her to call taxi service and find out exactly how much this would cost, so she can get a value on the cost she us asking you to pay.
Disclaimer: years ago, I drove three hours one way to take dd and one of her friends to see a Ricky Martin concert, but I was a bigger fan than the girls were. They were my exude for going to the concert, which was terrific.

cicero

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Re: Not the back up plan
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2013, 12:31:55 PM »
I agree that at 17 she is old enough to make her own plans. I would *never* have involved my parents in a 90 minute drive (good conditions or not) to a concert - if i wanted to go, i would figure out the how.

Ok I just used my shiney reinforced tin foil spine to tell my teenage DD "no" to a request she made. I need words of encouragement to continue down this path.

Whenever my DD would make plans the first thing I would ask was what my involvement would be....am I driving, picking up, paying, times, places...whatever.  When I got answers to these question I would make a decision.  More times than I can count the plans would get changed and I would be expected to just 'go with the flow".  I agreed to Plan A, not to Plan B.  DD could never see what the big deal was.  The worst part was when I was told up front that my participation was not needed, everything was covered then at the last minute a parent would change their mind and I would be expected to cover at the last minute.  If I told her it would not work for me DD acted as if I was the one ruining everything for everyone. NO, I was not the one who bailed on the plans I am just the person who NOT available to save the day.

No that she is nearly 17 the plans are getting bigger.  She made plans with her friend to go to a concert. She said transportation was taken care of. Now friend says transportation is not taken care of and can I drive them there and other parent will pick them up. Concert is in South Jersey 90 minutes from here in March. So I am expected to drive 90 minutes, drop them off, then drive home. I wouldn't want to do that if the weather was good, never mind the potential for snow or freezing rain. (And before we go there, no comments on dropping off two 17 year olds at a concert with out an adult...it is not relavent to my post...and if I think she is capable of handling herself it should not be questioned).

I would love to hear some words of encouragement to continue down the Path of No. And I woulds also love a rebuttals I can give her when she gets home and is upset with me for not agreeing to drive.

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Zilla

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Re: Not the back up plan
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2013, 12:46:33 PM »
I agree with others, let her find a train/bus/public transportation to get there and the other parent can pick them up.




Cami

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Re: Not the back up plan
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2013, 12:58:32 PM »
This is part of a process of teaching your dd not only that when she says "Jump" that you don't say "How high?" but also that she has no right to say "Jump" to you at all.

In other words, our kids don't get to make demands on us for our time and effort and money for leisure time activities. They are entitled only to ask. Everything else is out of our own discretion.

Yvaine

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Re: Not the back up plan
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2013, 01:34:48 PM »
I agree with others, let her find a train/bus/public transportation to get there and the other parent can pick them up.

Agreed too. You can even help her look for options if you feel so inclined, but it's a good thing for her to know how to do. Last weekend I had some transportation plans of my own fall through, and I was able to switch gears and get myself on a bus with minimal panic--which wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't learned how to figure this stuff out when I was of college age. It has been a really invaluable skill.

m2kbug

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Re: Not the back up plan
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2013, 01:35:01 PM »
I feel your pain.  There's just no way I would do this either.  I wonder if the other parent(s) was even aware or understood these details.   I would not want to drive 90 minutes for a concert and my answer would be "no."  If the other parent was okay with this and they wish to drive, yay, you have a ride.  When plans change, sorry.  You need to plan better.  I would be upset with the other parent for agreeing and then bailing, but it's really not up to you be the one to rescue either.  Especially if this is a continued problem.  I have made longer trips and carpooled and waited and picked up and dropped off.  This has been in communication with the other parents, and I have found on the rare occasion the other parent wasn't entirely clear on what the plan was either.  We have made it work, but it is an important part of the learning process to make sure these plans can work and the transportation, time, money, other people's lives and schedules, not just that someone would be available at the last minute. 

You are on the right tracks and fine with saying no.  My oldest is 14, and I haven't really gotten into a lot of this teenage stuff just yet, but I have had tasters, and I'm glad to learn from others' experiences.

AmethystAnne

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Re: Not the back up plan
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2013, 01:37:17 PM »
Stand strong, lkydrymom, in your resolve.

To your DD, "You said that my help wasn't needed so I made other plans. If this were a school requirement or if you had a medical emergency, I'd change my plans for you in a heart beat. If you can't find another way, you need to deal with your disappointment like an adult by not blaming someone else for the plans not coming together."

----------
All of my kids are grown and have households of their own. My OldestDD will be 35 next week, and the younger kids are 31, 31, and 25. I've been in your shoes, and the path can get kind of rough at times.
With that said.......
I wouldn't want to depend upon the plan where one parent drops the kids off and then going home, and then the other parent going there and picking them up later. What are the odds that the other parent might back out? Thinking about it, the day of the concert is looking more and more like an all-day deal. If I hadn't offered my day upfront when the idea of this concert first came up, I don't think I'd want to do that myself now that once again I've become the solution to the problem.



« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 01:46:22 PM by AmethystAnne »

blue2000

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Re: Not the back up plan
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2013, 01:40:55 PM »
I would be blunt.

"I did not plan to go to that concert. Your plans may have changed, but mine haven't."

It sounds like she needs to learn that you in fact are a person with plans. And she doesn't get to tell you to change your plans (even if it is just a date with the TV in your jammies) any more than you can tell her to skip the concert and drive you to the store for a new movie to watch.
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.