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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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Counted Heart. Offline
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It's getting too much. - June 21st 2011, 07:57 AM

Hey all. Sorry to bother you.

Basically, I'm having trouble with my mother. Usually she's pretty lenient, but there is one issue we severely disagree on. While it wasn't really important when I was younger, now that I'm older and my friends are all getting more independent, it's really bothering me.

Most of my friends have their own cars, and their provisional licences. The issue? My mother won't let me in a car with them. It's incredibly frustrating.

Take, for example, a conversation this afternoon.

"Hey, Mum, a few of us were thinking about going up to the city during the holidays, is that okay?"
"How would you get there?"
"One of them would drive."
"Why not?"
"Because I said so."

I honestly don't understand where she's coming from with this. She refuses to give me a reason, just a flat-out refusal. When I ask what her logic is behind it, she says she doesn't need any, she can just forbid me from it. I try and get her to tell me her side of it, so I can understand, and she just calls me manipulative and says I'm making it into a big argument. I honestly don't mean to. I want to negotiate, to have a mature discussion and reach a conclusion we're both happy with, but I really don't know how to deal with her.

Any ideas?

let no science fix our path
if only numbers make its math.
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Re: It's getting too much. - June 22nd 2011, 04:16 PM

Ugh... that's frustrating! Some techniques I would try:

- If you haven't already earned your provisional license, announce that you are going to enroll in the class/take the test/etc. It doesn't matter if you don't have a car. By learning how to drive, you will no longer be an "ill-informed" passenger at the mercy of a "reckless" teenage driver. Once I learned how to drive, I was much more aware of my surroundings and how my friends were doing behind the wheel. On some level, your mom may recognize that you will be safer with your friends if you can determine whether or not they are driving safely. It would also allow you to take over in case your friends were driving poorly (not like you'd ever need to do that, but your mom may feel better knowing that you could, since you would have your provisional license).

- The next time your mom says "no", instead of asking her if you could talk about it/if she could explain her reasoning, just start talking. Start saying things like:

"Hmm... I guess you don't feel comfortable with my friends driving me around because you've never actually ridden in a car with them. It's too bad you're not willing to give them a chance, because then you would see you have nothing to worry about, and we could stop arguing about this all the time."

"I suppose it's natural to worry. After all, the news is always publishing stories about teenage drivers getting drunk and crashing their cars. It's too bad you never hear about the majority of teenage drivers who make responsible decisions and have clean records."

"Well, in that case, I can figure out alternate modes of transportation. I could take x bus to x train station, then take x bus to my friend's house. I'll have to leave at x time on x day to ensure I get there on time, and I'll have to pay x dollars to get there, but I suppose using public transportation would be safer than commuting with friends!"

When you say these things, you obviously shouldn't say them directly to your mom. The goal is to TRY and talk directly to your mom about her concerns and logic. If she refuses to engage, stay in the same room, but talk to yourself out loud. That way, she can hear what you're saying, but she can't exactly accuse you of being "manipulative" (even though you most certainly would be with this technique!). If she accuses you of being manipulative, just give her a wide-eyed, innocent look and say, "What? I'm just trying to figure out what my other options are!" or something like that. =P If you always have something to say when your mom says "no", she may eventually relent and agree to let you travel with your friends, under certain conditions (ex. "If your friends start getting reckless, though, I want you to get out of the car IMMEDIATELY and call me!" "You can let your friend drive you to school today. If I think they're a safe driver, I might consider letting you go with them on holiday.")

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Re: It's getting too much. - June 24th 2011, 11:21 AM

Hey Robin.

Thanks for the reply.

I have my learner's licence, so I'm on the way to getting my provisional. I know how to drive, and I can tell when someone's a bad driver - and I honestly don't think my friends are - but my mother has this weird idea where the longer you've been driving, the better you automatically are. I get where she's coming from, but you can be a good driver with little experience, and a bad driver with a lot, you know?

Anyway. Thank you again for the ideas. Might have to try some of them out.

let no science fix our path
if only numbers make its math.
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