As their children grow up, parents want to show them that they trust them with certain responsibilities.
As a result, they might reward them occasionally when they show signs of growth and maturity.
But ultimately, a parent’s first concern is their health and safety.
So when they learn their children have not been behaving in a responsible manner, then they have the right to reprimand them as they see fit.
Redditor tookawaythecar and their wife gave their teenage daughter a reward all teenagers dream of when she excelled in school.
But upon learning that she used said reward irresponsibly, they immediately took the reward right back.
Much to the fury of their daughter.
Wondering if they were too hard on her, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for selling my daughter’s car after discovering her texting & driving?”
The OP explained why they and their wife decided that their daughter was no longer worthy of a gift they had given her as a reward for good grades and discipline.
“When my daughter was 14, wife and I decided we would buy a car for her to use on her 16th if she proved herself to be responsible, got good grades, etc.”
“There would be a ‘contract’ of sorts to ensure we were all on the same page.”
“The stipulations were continuing good grades, good attitude, she could only bring one friend with her somewhere, to begin with, we had to know where she was, and the obvious two: don’t drink & drive, and don’t text and drive.”
“We made it clear that we were buying the car, but it was for her to use.”
“We got the car, a 2012 Honda Civic.”
“She has a summer job right now, it’s summer break so she’s out doing stuff with her friends, etc. In a few months, she will be off to college.”
“Everything was going swimmingly.”
“Until someone on that NextDoor app started posting pictures and videos of bad drivers in the area.”
“And lo and behold, my daughter was posted with her face down as she texted and rolled through a stop sign.”
“Once with her face down in her phone at a stoplight.”
“I was livid.”
“My wife was the one who showed it to me.”
“We found out there were more instances, from her Instagram Stories, and we decided, no.”
“Wife and I up and sold the car.”
“We didn’t lose very much in the process, except of course our daughter completely came unraveled.”
“It’s so unfair, I didn’t hurt anyone, everyone’s doing it, how am I supposed to get to work, what about when I go to college?”
“Well, we said no, it’s not unfair, you hurt us by being a sh*tty, irresponsible driver, no, not everyone’s doing it, you can walk, ride your bike, or take the bus, and as for college, you don’t need the car to get to and from classes, and again, ride your bike or walk.”
“She tried to play the ‘how can you send your daughter to college without her safety in mind?’ card and I said ‘Well, well, well, now you’re concerned about safety?’ and she just up and screamed.”
“This has everyone in our life up in arms and divided.”
“Her grandparents think we’re being over the top and awful, that grounding her would have sufficed.”
“They’ve threatened that THEY will buy her a car again if we try to send her to college without one.”
“The car is already sold, so there’s no going back.”
“I think what we did was absolutely correct, that actions have consequences and we would be in the wrong to pull back from that.”
“In terms of her going to college?”
“Well, she made that choice.”
“She had a car, it came with certain stipulations, she disobeyed us, and now she pays the price.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP and their wife were in no way the a**hole for selling their daughter’s car.
Everyone agreed that they were only looking out for her safety, and by texting while driving multiple times, she demonstrated that she couldn’t handle the responsibilities of owning a car.
Some felt it might have been smarter to give her a warning or two before revoking the car.
“And her sense of outrage and entitlement instead of shame and contrition at getting caught in the act should only reaffirm you made the right choice.”
“She’s not sorry, she’s pissed.”
“If it were me, I’d need to see a major and GENUINE attitude upgrade before even considering relenting AND I’d be telling the grandparents that until she’s 18 there’s no way she’s driving a car from them either.”
“And then they can put her on ‘their’ insurance.”
“Sometimes you have to do unpopular things to teach your kids important lessons and help protect them from their own bad choices.”
“They should be supporting you, not undermining you.”
“You better shut that sh*t down immediately.”
“You and wife have done a good job and the punishment seems proportionate IMO.”
“Distracted driving Kills.”
“Old people love to spoil their relatives because it makes them feel involved.”
“Also it sounds like there might be some deeper need to undermine your authority as parents.”
“Hopefully, it isn’t malicious and just a misplaced desire to care for their granddaughter.”
“Daughter certainly is an adult and can accept whatever gifts she wants.”
“I never really meant that OP should legally shut down the grandparents.”
“I simply meant to meet with them and set them straight on the facts of distracted driving, and the extent to which daughter violated valid expectations.”
“Make it clear that they could potentially do some serious damage to your relationship with your daughter and that they should stay out of it no matter their intentions.”
“Escalating things by threatening to withhold tuition payment, as some have suggested, would just drive a much deeper wedge between them all.”
“I feel your punishment was fair but ultimately limiting.”
“As others pointed out, heavy restrictions placed on her use of the vehicle could have been better long term.”
“Could have given her a chance to earn it back and truly learn a lesson rather than build resentment.”
“Theoretically it’s not too late to do that.”
“Perhaps an agreement that, with good grades, the parents could buy a newer car for the following year.”
“Perhaps, due to her record, if she wants the car, she will have to pay for the insurance.”-manualLurking
“Frankly I admire your restraint.”- Fleetdancer
“Actions have consequences.”
“Doesn’t stop you from buying her another car in the short/medium term future if she can show she’s learned from what happened.”- fatboyfat1981
“Your daughter is being naïve.”
“This natural for her.”
“But she needs to understand, it doesn’t matter that no one was hurt, what matters is that someone could have very easily been hurt.”
“She is wielding a deadly weapon, and she has consciously chosen to wield it with reckless disregard for the safety of those around her: your friends and neighbors.”
“Your grandparents also need to back off.”
“They aren’t raising your daughter, you are.”
“Frankly, there isn’t any need for a college kid to have a car these days.”
“You can get a place to sleep near the college and you can get most things you’d need to be delivered to your door.”
“A car means you need to pay for parking, find a parking spot, and maintain the car; it’s actually a bit of a hassle, honestly.”
“This is a parenting decision.”
“Granted, after turning 18, you legally become an adult.”
“But as kids remain dependent on their parents to age 25, especially college-bound kids, they’re in YOUR custody and YOU are in charge.”
“Are grandparents going to pay her tuition?”
“Do they want to adopt her?”
“No, they are undermining your authority as a parent.”- AbsentGlare
“I mean, I probably would’ve given her a warning and taken the car away for a month first, but I’d still say NTA.”-Chucklepink
“God forbid but if she ever hit someone while texting and driving they’d take her license and throw her in jail, so she kinda got off easy.”
“Let her use her hard-earned money to pay for a car maybe she’ll try to protect it and herself better.”-Fuzzy1353
Actions have consequences, for better or worse.
The OP’s daughter demonstrated that she could put herself forward with hard work and dedication, so her parents rewarded her with a car.
But when she showed that she was willing to recklessly put her life, as well as the lives of others in danger on multiple occasions, they took back the car.
Looking out for her own safety.
Hopefully, the OP’s daughter can demonstrate that she learned a lesson from this experience, which might result in her one day getting a car again.
One which she will hopefully be much more careful and responsible driving.