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Not the back up plan

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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 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 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.

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

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.

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."

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. 


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