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    Schmika New Member

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    About a year ago I helped my 16yr old buy a car. It was a 1995 Neon and she put $500 toward it and I paid the rest and paid for all repairs needed to make it safe. I wouldn't pay for fixing the A/C or the radio. She agreed to pay me $100 a month until it was paid off and I would title it to her when she turned 18. When she had some money problems, I offered to waive the $100/mo. if she would clean the house (about 2 hrs) once a week. Well, she stopped cleaning in April and she stopped paying in June.

    I have reached my limit and decided to re-po the car next week and just sell it for whatever I can get. Being a Dad, I am getting cold feet and want to find a way I can let her keep it. Looking for input from anyone who has "been there" from either side. Oh, she is living with her mother just 10 minutes away (we are divorced), doesn't have a job (I don't think) and hasn't spoken much to me after the last time we had a bit of a discussion about that very car.

    Feel free to be hard on me but, if you have any incorrect assumptions, I'll reply to them. Oh, the money is a non-issue, I can afford to be out the money on the car. I am looking at it as a learning thing. I have a 23 yr old that I "borrowed" 60K for to go to college (she is paying me the monthly payments) and a 20yr old who doesn't need me for anything right now (Marines).
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    Kiloran New Member

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    I think you are bravely doing the right thing for both of you!
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    flareak Fleet Captain

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    You need to talk to your daughter and see what's going on. There must be a reason why she stopped. If she was just lazy, then go ahead, but there must be something that's preventing her from paying you.
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    Mystery Squid New Member

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    I'll be blunt, best way to get things across, no offense meant! :)

    Well, she is 16, what do you really expect? IMO, actually taking the car away would be harsh. IMO, I'd do something like that only if she really did something REALLY bad (amongst the lines of DUI, or something equally serious). You said about a year ago this all started, so it sounds like she's, more or less, mid-way through the term. Are you really going to cut off her life-line over this?

    How about something half-way, like taking the keys for a while? Enough to drive the point home, yet not enough that she might end up hating you for a time over it.

    Furthermore, (again, MO) is it really THAT big of an issue? I mean, parents are supposed to help further their kids right? If she's living a relatively on-track life (ie. going to school, getting decent grades, etc.), why throw this trivial issue at her, and cause unnecessary static?

    It also depends on what she's like. When I was that age, when my parents tried to teach me a lesson amongst those like, it WOULD backfire on them. For example, I got my car taken away once just going into my first semester of college, for what I thought was a totally ridiculous reason. Their reasoning was, "ha, with no car, he'll have NO CHOICE but to do his school work!"
    So what did I do? Borrowed other people's cars, charged up a storm, and my grades went downhill FAST because I'd stay extra days at my ex-gf's to maximize my time.

    Ultimately, all turned out well, it was nothing but a bump in the road that brought me unnecessary static.
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    efusco Troll Slayer

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    Have you spoken to your ex-wife/the mother? She may have some insight as to the situation.

    Frankly, I think you should repo it, but maybe not sell it right away. See if the lack of a car for a month or two changes her perspective on her priorities.

    If she decides she wants the car back and will start doing the cleaning again or start making payments again then sit down and write up an actual "contract"--an agreement that says what she'll do, what she gets, what you'll do and the consequences if she doesn't hold up her end.

    She's damn close to living in the 'real world' and this is the way the real world works. If she gets one over on you now she'll push you in the future and her options for playing the 'guilt card' with the divorce and all that will be huge. I think you need to set a hard line...you can always back off later and waive the rest of the payments as a graduation gift or Christmas gift or whatever later on, but you'll have made the point of teaching her that you don't get something for nothing and esp. something once you've renigged on an agreement.

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    geologyrox New Member

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    yeah, definately find out WHY she stopped - but if you made an agreement for her to pay you, then worked it out where she'd be able to work instead, and she blew off both, without telling you a good reason why? i think you are handling it as well as you can. you cannot allow her to go out into the world thinking that she can blow off responsibilities like that.

    ^---- from a 21 year old who hates it when irresponsible young people make responsible young people look bad. fwiw, i didn't have a car till i'd worked long enough to buy one - so i got one when i was 17 and then a little.

    bottom line - she agreed to pay for it. she's not. she certainly shouldnt be rewarded for her irresponsibility by getting a FREE car.



    I should have emphasized that you really do need to talk to her about why she stopped making payments / cleaning. if she's not working because she is covered up in school work, or because she's been sick, or something, then you guys might be able to come to new terms. good luck - i can't see any way where this is an EASY position to be in
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    Spunky New Member

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    Sounds like a broken agreement here. If I understand this right, your daughter has renegged on her end of the bargain.

    Talk to her, find out what is going on, and forge a new agreement. Set up the timing of the consequences to her actions.

    I'm willing to bet that there's something else going on for her, about her relationship with you. Find out what that is and deal with the real issue. There should be an improvement in the car situation after that.

    She's had a "free ride" for months and that's not a good lesson for her.
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    efusco Troll Slayer

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    MS,
    While you're certainly entitled to an alternate point of view I think you're 'let it slide' concept could lead to poor consequences in the long haul. As you say, she's 16--prime time to start growing up and not letting things get out of control.

    And since when is a car a "life-line" for a 16 year old. I certainly didn't have a car at age 16 and I lived 20 miles from school, work, and sports. I borrowed a car when desperate, waited for rides when I couldn't borrow, and appreciated my first car (which I bought myself) that much more for it all. When, in this country, did a car become an entitlement for teenagers?

    If she shows this poor degree of responsibility with her payments/work I have to be concerned that she's being irresponsible in other aspects of her high risk teen life too--such things, in my experience, often go hand in hand (OP--I'm not accusing your daughter of anything, just generalizing). More often than not the teens who smoke are also the teens who don't wear seat belts and who also tend to be at higher risk for promiscuity and drug and alcohol use.

    Taking away her car certainly won't prevent those things. And there could be untoward affects. But I firmly believe that if you can't teach responsibility at home it will never be learned outside of it.
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    Spunky New Member

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    Schmika-
    By the way, whose house is she supposed to clean? The one she's living in (her mom's) or the one you're living in?
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    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    sorry to hear about that, schmika.

    i'd say keep the car in your garage for a while and make sure she doesn't have a key. see if that changes her mind. then, ask for all the payments she's behind on before you give it back. sounds a bit like how my car loan would work if i were to default and pay my late bills back before they sold the car off at auction.

    make sure her mom won't up and give her a car and completely defeat the purpose of this lesson.

    after all, she is still a kid. she needs to learn how the real world works and how to be a functional citizen in this society. as a parent, it's your job to teach her. i don't think you're being too harsh at all.
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    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    umm you may not want to hear this, but you are not giving enough information.

    how active is she in school?

    ok ya its a wonderful life if you can be a cheerleader, work at Mickey D's, and get straight A's all while volunteering 20 hours a week at your local church.

    but i found that that was not possible for me nor was it possible for my kids. i ultimately sacrificed my education...BIG MISTAKE

    if i were you, and what i did... if your daughter is a good student (i had pretty high standards here) and maintains grades and other activities, then GIVE her the car. keep the title, if her grades fail. remove the car.

    i made the decision that i would rather my child excel in school instead of "earning" her way. competition is just too tough. i was lucky in that her grades were good enough that she qualified for a lot of help. (when she started college, neither me or her mother were in a position to help her anyway)

    you have a tough decision to make because you will always give your children the benefit of the doubt while trying to hold them to a higher standard than you would expect from everyone other than yourself.

    another thing to consider, if she does not have a job, she will need financial help to drive the car legally.
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    Mystery Squid New Member

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    Not having a car when you're 16 is crippling for MOST kids. Of all those times you borrowed or got rides, honestly, would you not have LOVED it if one of your parents helped you get your own car? Do you know what a 16 year old misses out on without a car? The freedom of going on a dates, going out with friends, and yes, making out. Amongst the BEST memories of my life, are my high school years WITH my car.

    On another level, just how much responsibility can you "milk" out of a 16 year old? She IS just a kid. A parent should help their kids reach new heights, support them when they can, and teach responsibility while NOT being extreme (such as repo'ing her car and selling it).

    I ALMOST can't believe I read that. You're basically saying if she shows signs of a problem in one aspect of her life, it's more LIKELY there's more. That's one of those ugly dehumanizing generalizations. It's precisely like saying if you're a MAC user, you're more likely to be GAY, drive a Prius, and wear Birkenstock sandals with SOCKS.

    Notwithstanding, you independently agreed with my ultimate conclusion (which is certainly NOT a "let it slide" stance): restrict usage of the car, but not sell it... Which, by the way, seems to be the general consensus...
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    Mystery Squid New Member

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    THAT. Deserves a standing ovation.
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    jayman Senior Member

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    Mike:

    Ugh what a sticky situation! No matter what you do, you’re automatically the a**hole in this equation.

    Unfortunately it seems most kids born in the past 25 years, certainly in the 1990’s, have this “entitlement†mentality. They’re “taught†the entire world owes them a comfortable and exertion-free existence. I’m not sure if I should blame the failed public school system, brainless television, advertising, or what.

    I have a similar tale, though it ended much worse. A friend of my parents is a retired dentist, who remained single for most of his life. He got hitched to a bitch with two young kids, possibly he felt he “needed†to be a father figure to them.

    I fulfill that internal drive by having a cat. At least if the cat becomes sinister, he goes back to the Humane Society.

    So the woman he married suddenly fell into literally a small fortune. Frequent trips to Switzerland and Austria to go skiing. The best homes, cars, cottages, dining, clothes, etc. The dentist felt he “needed†to do that as he recalled growing up in a very poor family and having to work for a living.

    The two daughters were spoiled rotten by the time they were 12 years old. Already into drugs, alcohol, the bad crowd, etc. He made the mistake of assuming that MORE money and gifts and privileges would make them better. They got worse.

    Around this time the bitch wife had the mistaken notion she could find something better elsewhere, and left the dentist and got a divorce. She accepted a cash settlement for the divorce, which she quickly spent, and then ended up in a series of increasingly bad relationships. Last I heard she was on Assistance living in a crappy little basement apartment.

    What a step, going from nothing, to First Class flights to Austria to go skiing, back to nothing.

    When the daughters turned 16 he bought them new cars. Of course, they were completely irresponsible with the cars, one got into an accident and totaled the car, the other simply refused to look after it. The car was “obviously†Daddies responsibility. They lived with Daddy simply to squeeze more money off him.

    The nice retired dentist had to make a difficult decision: either keep showering them with money and gifts, creating a steeper downward spiral; or, cut them off. You know, “cold turkey.â€

    He chose to cut them off, make them do work around the grounds of his cottage. They refused. One moved in with Mommy, the other became a bum and actually lived on the street in The Village for a year (Osborne Village here in Winnipeg).

    The one living with Mommy approached the retired Dentist a couple of years ago, after having no contact for almost 5 years, to tell him she wanted Lasik done on both eyes, so she wouldn’t have to wear glasses. Around $5,000 for both eyes, and he refused.

    She had the nerve to track ME down, at work, as she knew I was also fairly chummy with her dad. I guess I was supposed to be an intermediary to pass along messages. Her message: tell my rich Daddy that if he doesn’t pay for my Lasik I’ll slit my wrists and kill myself.

    As you may have guessed by reading some of my more colorful posts in this forum, I’m a cold-hearted introverted Type A bastard. So imagine me sitting in my little office – well actually it’s a cubicle but I do have a nice view out the window of other office buildings – and this scraggly scrawny young woman is giving me THAT sort of message. My reply?

    “I might have a sharp letter opener in my desk. Want me to look for it??â€

    I also called Security to have her removed from the building, with strict instructions to ban her from the building. Apparently she did end up later that week at a local hospital – Health Sciences Center – with a “minor†slit to one wrist. I guess she chickened out. Tough.

    The sad thing in all of this is the nice retired dentist, who really did bend over backwards to be a good kind loving caring Father Figure, went into a downward spiral after the divorce. He sold the huge lake cottage – at an enormous profit I might add – and the large home on Wellington Crescent. He went into a small 1 bedroom condo and spends his time hanging out at local coffee shops blathering with old gaffers and pestering my parents for companionship.

    No seriously, he’s very sweet to my folks and ever since my Mom had her operation he’s been there for my folks. A nice fellow with a ton of loot who has no idea what to do with it. He even wanted to leave me all the loot, which I very politely declined. I suggested he consider local hospitals, libraries, even the Winnipeg Humane Society.

    The moral in all of this, Mike?

    1. You’re not alone, and you sure as hell are NOT the only person on Planet Earth this has happened to.

    2. You did the right thing. Usually, the more you give, the more they take, and they don’t learn any important lessons in life, like working for a living the way most of us have to.

    3. Let’s hope Mommy hasn’t filled her head full of crap, suggesting you should float her along.

    Hope it all works out.

    jay
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    Mystery Squid New Member

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    This has the makings of a good POLL!
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    jayman Senior Member

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    And how are they supposed to do that? My folks taught me to work for a living, be responsible, and not whine about not "having" things or being "poor." In the Real World, which you apparently have never visited, bad s*** happens. Like, people who have a choice of eating maggot-infested food out of a garbage dump or starving to death.

    Ah.

    The "entitlement mentality." Mine is mine, and Yours is mine too.

    You sound like a hugely irresponsible person. I truly feel sorry for your parents, they have my sympathies. I hope you're not in a responsible line of work, like looking after other folks money, or nuclear power plant operator. Scary.
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    Mystery Squid New Member

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    :lol:

    Ah, (flips through the Merck Manual)

    Igonoramum-Redneckia:

    An untreatable condition that persists when patient has been routinely beaten by ultra-stern Orthodox Christian parents who never really spared the rod, was likely exorcised by "re-assigned" priests with questionable pasts, when caught pleasuring himself to the Sears catalogue when he was 12 due to "evil demons", advanced stages of this disease are marked by an intense fascination with wrestling, domestic beer, beer nuts, and an uncontrollable urge to live in some obscure part of Canada. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease, patient at unusually high risk of myocardial infarction at young age.

    ;)
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    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

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    These are all good comments. The important thing is communications. I'm afraid I can't help as I didn't get a car until I was in my 20s and then I paid for it myself.

    I do owe my parents money from a car my wife got (we paid 75%, they paid 25%) and am paying them back $200 a month.
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    Jaguar88 Member

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    Talking to the mother is good, but you should also discuss the expectations of house cleaning. Maybe you are asking for things she feels she shouldn't do, but only she can tell you. I would talk to her today and if you can't work it out then sell it tomorrow. If you sell it for more than she owes you of course you need to pay her the difference. The longer you drag it out the worse things are going to get. You've already waited too long.
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    geologyrox New Member

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    i cannot believe that some people seem to be under the impression that havinga car is essential to a teenager getting to live a real life. maybe we're a bunch of down home hicks, but where i went to high school, only something like 25% of the kids had their own car. you are not ENTITILED to a car just because you are legal to drive. pardon me, but thats just bullshit.

    i agree that if school is whats getting in the way of working/cleaning/whatever, that SCHOOL COMES FIRST. you're talking to a national merit scholar - my parents drilled right into me that school was the most important thing. BUT - I think that asking 2 hours a weekof housework is NOT ALL THAT MUCH to be asking - and if she can't do that, then there is a problem.

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