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Parent Sparks Drama By Forcing Their Daughter’s Friend To Wear A Seatbelt During Their Carpool

Cyndi Monaghan/Getty Images

Most parents generally want the best for their children, and that includes creating rules that keep their children the same.

Unfortunately, not all parents agree about which rules matter, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor SafeTaro recently shared how they may have negatively impacted one of their daughter’s friendships after uploading one of her rules.

After they realized this happened, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they were in the wrong.

They asked the sub: 

“AITA for not apologizing and causing my daughter to lose one of her few friends?” 

The OP’s daughter recently found a friend after struggling to make friends. 

“My daughter is 12 years old. She’s always struggled to make friends but last school year met ‘Danielle’.”

“To me, Danielle was a little bossy and cared a lot about popularity, obsessed with making my daughter popular, but I figured she was just trying to help. And she was nice.”

“When the schools reopened, Danielle’s mom asked me if I wanted to carpool. She’d drive the kids in the morning and I’d pick them up along with Danielle’s older brother (14). I agreed.”

But when the kids refused to wear their seatbelts, the OP had to push back.

“At first, it went well and the girls loved it. But one constant struggle was getting Danielle and her brother to wear their seat belts.”

“This is a no-argument situation for me, kid or adult, you’re wearing a seatbelt. I lost a friend in high school and it all could’ve been prevented had she worn it.”

“The kids constantly complained and would take them off.”

“I talked to their mom, and she kind of shrugged it off.”

“Eventually, they got a little better about not arguing about it but still wouldn’t do it on their own.”

But the situation may have become too serious for the friendship.

“It came to a head a few weeks ago.”

“I had to stop at the post office before I brought them home. I parked my car, walked to the mailbox, and came back.”

“It took all of a minute, but in that time, Danielle and her brother had taken them off. I told them to put them back on. They refused.”

“I said I wasn’t driving until they put them on. They still refused.”

“I called their mother, she didn’t answer. Called their father, he didn’t answer.”

“Finally, I just followed through on my threat and sat there until they finally put them on. It took 45 minutes. The whole time, my daughter kept begging me to just drive but I refused.”

“I dropped them off. Back at home, their mom called me, mad.”

“She said I made her son late for a soccer game. I said he wouldn’t have been if he just wore his seatbelt.”

“She told me I’m not their mom, so I don’t get to control them.”

“I said if they’re in my car, they need to follow my rules.”

“It all ended with us agreeing to stop the carpool arrangement, which I was fine with. We finished the school year driving our own kids to school.”

The OP’s daughter’s friendship was probably over.

“However, now Danielle’s mom says they can’t talk until I apologize to Danielle and her brother.”

“I refuse. I did nothing wrong.”

“My daughter is upset because Danielle is one of her few friends.”

“My husband thinks I should fake an apology so our daughter can keep her friend.”

“I don’t think it’s worth it. I’m not setting an example that they can do whatever at my house and I won’t say anything.”

“My daughter is hurt and furious, currently not speaking with me.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some thoroughly agreed with the OP’s reasoning.

“I think I would die on this mountain too. What kind of people set an example for their children that 1) it’s ok to not wear a seat belt and 2) it’s ok to argue with another adult like that for 45 minutes. NTA.”

“Your daughter might not realize it now, but you may have helped her dodge a bullet.”LadyTallPants

“In a car crash everything will become a projectile, including humans. It is quite common that ssomeone not wearing a seat belt takes someone or even several people with them to their death.”

“Bodies are big, imagine getting kicked in the head by an errant food by a force so big that it is enough to throw a human body around.”

“Seat belts save lives, and not just your own. It has happened before that several people died in a car crash where everyone could have lived if that one person was wearing a seat belt like the others in the car.”HabitatGreen

Others pointed out the daughter may have felt pressured to go without a seatbelt. 

“I would wonder if daughter wore a seatbelt in their car on the way to school. Sounds like the kids would make fun of her if she did. OP should be very happy the arrangement ended.”MurcurialBubble

“I bet not.”

“My (14) son goes out biking with his buddies. He left his helmet at home once, not even pretending to have it on. Got read the riot act when he got home.”

“I told him to lay all blame at my feet, I used something that did happen to me as a teen (smoking a cig) as to why he can’t go helmet free. So, he told his friends that another parent saw him when he was riding without a helmet, called me, and that if I ever hear about it again – he’s done going riding.”

“He also has a similar thing when he gets to the age of partying. All he has to do is text me 911 and I’ll call him and say that X had an accident/is the hospital/whatever- and that I have to come get him.”

“We all want to imagine that our children will give no f**ks about peer pressure, that isn’t the reality. Peer pressure/fitting in is HUGE at that age. Noping these kids is probably keeping OPs daughter safe.”kai7yak

“I do this too. If my children don’t want to go somewhere, do something with their friends, I say tell them you’re not allowed and your mother is awful!”lula1977

“Have to say NTA and also commend you as a parent. You clearly care more about loving your daughter, keeping her safe, and teaching her to be a good and responsible adult than you do being her friend.”

“If more parents were like you there would be a lot fewer problems in our society. I agree with others that your daughter is better off without this so-called ‘friend’.”

“If she and her brother are willing to be that disrespectful of you, I can only imagine how poorly she would treat your daughter when you are not around.”

“I also struggled to make friends growing up, so can understand the desire to hang onto even poor quality friends, but she will be better off in the long run and will understand true friendship when she makes a real friend not some disrespectful brat.” ~ HomeremodelerDC

“NTA. It’s the Law, all passengers & the driver MUST wear a seat belt, Not Negotiable.”

“Tell the kid’s mother that you Will not Under Any Circumstances risk losing your licence because her kids won’t buckle up.”

“Tell her that seat belts are mandatory & if she won’t make her kids put on their seat belts then you won’t car pool with her anymore.”

“Explain to your daughter that those kids are breaking the law by refusing to wear their seat belts, that you would be breaking the law if you drive the car with them not wearing seat belts & in the event of an accident they could get seriously hurt or killed if they don’t wear their seat belts.”

“My son was always getting out of his seat belt so I took him to a Rehabilitation Centre (with permission) so he could talk to people & see what happens in serious crashes if you’re not wearing a seat belt. He buckled up on the way home & never refused to wear a belt again.” ~ Competitive_Tea2413

“NTA- I think instead of apologizing, send her photos of crash scenes. And obits of people who who would have survived had whey worn a belt.”

“I’d also have a cop friend pull her over and ticket her for not wearing her belt.” ~ Ohiowoman78

“NTA, some jurisdictions put the onus on the driver to ensure passengers below a certain age are suitably restrained.”

“It could be OP’s license at risk if she allowed them to not wear it. And if they are in a crash, those kids could kill others in the car.” ~ jack172sp

“NTA. There are seatbelt laws for a reason.”

“Having them wear seatbelts isn’t just for their own safety, but also for everyone else in that car.”

“If they don’t have seatbelts on and you get into an accident, their dumb asses may be flung into another passenger, resulting in injuries and/or deaths.”

“Don’t apologize just so your daughter can keep an obviously terrible ‘friend’.”

“I’d talk to her and tell her why you did what you did and let her get over it herself. I’m sure she’d appreciate this in the future.” ~ Xynic

“NTA. In newer cars all the seats have sensors so. You have to buckle up or you’ll just hear annoying beeping.”

“Also is the law, who doesn’t wear a seat belt or very least make their kids wear one? That’s child endangerment.”

“A cop pulls you over asks why your kids aren’t wearing seat belt they say you didn’t have to, Child Endangerment and CPS investigation starts up on next day.” ~ New-Distribution1849

“Assuming this is in the USA. IT IS THE LAW for EVERYONE to wear their seatbelts.”

“While I can understand your daughter lost a friend but what a crappy friend who clearly has terrible parents who think seatbelts are optional.”

“This mother of theirs is absolutely insane for thinking you need to apologize for keeping her children safe and following the law.”

“If you had gotten into an accident and they weren’t wearing their belts and gotten hurt because of it, this mom would blame you too for not enforcing them to wear their seatbelts.” ~ edwadokun

“NTA. Beyond being safe in the car, beyond peer pressure, beyond all the other reasonable and worthwhile arguments that make this hill absolutely worth dying over, does the other mother not realize that if you get pulled by a cop – for any reason – you will be the one fronting the bill for the ticket?”

“In my state (NC), it’s $25 bucks for the fine, all related court costs, and 2 points on your license (12 gets it suspended!), but of course YMMV due to the fact the US is 50 counties in a trenchcoat pretending to get along and there’s no indication you even live in this nightmare of a country.”

“Either way, not only is them not wearing a seatbelt putting them at risk, and your daughter at risk, but it’s literally putting your ability to drive at risk. You get caught 6 times – and clearly, if you’re carpooling you’re driving them more than 6 total times – and then you literally cannot drive them at all.”

“Like, the sheer stupidity of it!”

​”Honestly, I’m not planning to parent but if I ever have to drive kids I’m holding the same patterns. Seatbelts on, no handsy-fighting (like getting into a slap fight or what have you), if they can’t agree on the music selection I take full control, and clean up after yourself when you leave.”

“Anything less and we don’t leave. I can wait. ‘You made my son late!!!’ No, ma’am, your son made himself late because he disrespected the adult that had the kindness and graciousness to do you all a favor and risked her losing her literal ability to drive, let alone his own life, and you, being the only responsible adult in this situation, didn’t let him.” ~ crazythatcounts

Though the OP was in a tough situation with wanting their daughter to be able to have the friends she wanted, the OP still had to put everyone’s safety first, which the subReddit absolutely supported.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.