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How to teach 16-year-old that responsibility comes along with rights

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My son has had his driver's license for almost a  year.  He drives himself to and from school, which is awesome for all of us since we don't have to get up and drive him anymore (no bus svc), and he has used the car a couple of times for his own personal use -- driving to and from a friend's house; hanging out after school, etc.  

We've allowed this, but within reasonable guidelines.

So today I asked him to drive to the store ( a mile away) to get some soup for his little sister, who is ill.  I work from home and am in a time crunch with work.  He responded that he's in the middle of something for school, which could have waited.  His general attitude is:  why can't you do it?  He's actually asked me that before in response to a request to him:  Well, why do I have to do it?  why can't you do it? 

I'm too old-school for that crap.  You do it because I told you to, and I'm your mom.  Period.  It actually infuriates me when he asks me this or responds in this way.  And I'm kind of at a loss as to how to handle it.  I took his license away, and that was fine with him (so he says.)  Then I gave his license back and told him to get his butt in that car and go to the store!  

I'm reading it as though he thinks we're equals, which I did NOT perpetuate.  I never endeavored to be his friend, and I've never been afraid to discipline him (take away privileges, such as computer and game time.)  For what it's worth, he's a bright kid -- not a genius, but bright, and I sometimes suspect that he has a touch of ODD (If it's possible to have just a touch.)  Overall, he's a good kid with good goals set for himself in life.  But he has this attitude as if he's my peer rather than my son.  I don't get it.  My husband has been much more permissive and laid back than I have been.  Maybe that plays into it. 

What would you do?

by on Oct. 7, 2013 at 3:58 PM
Replies (11-12):
by on Oct. 10, 2013 at 4:16 AM

 That should have been taught from the start and just enforced more as they get older. 

The answer to me would be tell him if he can't use the car to help out that is no problem but that also means he can't use it for pleasure and you won't take him. 

I would also tell him to save money he will be riding the bus so you can use the extra money you would have spent on gas to pay someone to help you when you need it.

by on Oct. 12, 2013 at 7:50 AM

We actually implemented a $2.00 tip for these little favors. It was amazing how willing the errands were accomplished for 2 bucks. Then, when lil bro wanted taken somewhere, he would cough up the $2 and no hesitation again. So, I know we shouldn't HAVE to pay, but it made it so easy and everyone was happy.

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