My son drinks and smokes I buy him a car? - FamilyEducation
My son drinks and smokes I buy him a car?
11/23/2012 at 15:01 PM

I have two boys both of driving age. I have purchased a car for one of them who is responsible; doesn't drink, smoke pot and stays out of trouble. The other son is looking for me to buy a car but his behavior is reckless and irresponsible. He drinks every weekend and smokes pot at least three times a week maybe more. He has straight A's and is basically a good kid but has recently shown some reckless and irresponsible behavior. He cheated at school and lost is national honor society merit, he and his friends were recent,y pulled over by the police for suspicion of drinking and smoking pot. They refused a car search but the driver a 17 year old friend of my son was high and received three tickets. There was also a 30 pack of beer in the drunk and an open bottle of alcohol. The reason I know all this is because my son is somewhat honest and tells us. He wants a car and my husband thinks its completely unfair that we haven't bought him one when we bought my other son a car. But my response has always been that he clearly is not responsible and we can't take the chance he will hurt himself or someone else if we buy him a car. This has caused significant turmoil between me and my husband. Should I cave and buy my other son a car or stand my ground and why? Comments would greatly be appreciated. oldest was irresponsible and had 7 accidents and we almost lost our insurance over it and needed to get her own policy...should my husband be pulling from this experience instead of worrying about what my son doesn't have and how it's not fair to him?

It's a power struggle between fair (hubby) and right (you, based upon his maturity). Hubby might be thinking this: by not getting him a car, you aren't teaching him responsiblity. It's obviously not preventing him from smoking and drinking-- that's water under the bridge. What I'm guessing you are thinking is: you are teaching him is that his actions have consequences and trust is earned. I side with you because that's the real world-- his boss will never promote him based upon a timeline, but rather performance and character. Based on your post, daughter demonstrated she was not ready AFTER she already had the car, son is demonstrating he's not ready BEFORE you've given him the car. That's the starting point from which to make your decision. I say son does not get a car for at least 6 months and I suggest a job for saving for the first 6 months of insurance, or gas? If he is invested in the process he'll be more motivated-- and have less idle time too.

Both are different things before buying him a car make sure he can drive...then tell him not to smoke and drink politely and tell him bad part of of luck

That sounds very frustrating. It must be particularly challenging because you and your husband have such different perspectives on the situation. I agree with you about the safety risks involved in allowing your son to have his own vehicle. Up until this point, he has not demonstrated that he makes choices that would lead you to believe he could handle having his own vehicle, especially given that he chose to be in a car with a driver who was high, a 30 pack of beer, and an open container. I suggest that you continue to hold your son accountable for his behavior, while using the vehicle as an incentive for him to start behaving responsibly by refraining from drugs and alcohol and making better choices. For instance, if he stays clean and makes good choices consistently for 3-6 months, you will talk about the possibility of purchasing him a car. I hope this helps. Best of luck to you!