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April 15, 2004



I think since I'm the one who opened the dad up for discussion, I should also be the one who defends him.

He and his wife are caring, loving parents. They're very, very involved in their daughter's life. That's partly why I was surprised by the decision to buy her a car.

They're very concerned with being fair with their daughter. I, personally, think when something as serious as drugs is involved, ideas of fairness might go out the window. But I don't know what talks they had before buying it or what guidelines they've structured for use. I know she's been told she'll lose it if there's another incident.

I don't think she's an addict --- just a kid trying to find where she fits. I just hope this isn't the place she decides on.

And as someone who was more than a little wild in her youth, I'm proof positive that a reckless teen can grow into a responsible adult.


Wow...wonder if he's ever looked up the meaning of the word enabler...


Wow. Never understimate the power of denial!

I hope there's a lot more going on that your coworker isn't telling you about, such as family therapy and rehab or at least close supervision of the daughter.

I'm currently debating with myself whether it would be cruel and unusual punishment to go ahead and buy the great-deal car, then park it outside the house and let it sit there as a reminder to the whole family that the daughter has lost that privelege for a long time.


The situation you describe is one that I fear. I have a step-son and step-daughter who are not that far off from being teenagers. My husband has tried to make their mom see that being a friend isn't as crucial to them as being their parent. This is a story I'm definitely going to share with him.


I guess someone is more interested in being a "friend" than a "parent".
And if the kid has been in this much trouble already, I have a feeling someone needs a brush up on their parenting skills.
He and his wife will pay for it later, I'm sure. But really I bet there's more to this story than you know about!


Cocaine use, especially among young adults, has become very very prevalent. I'm 25 and I see it all the time in the mid-sized Midwestern city that I call home. It's the 'new thing' to experiment with - I think a lot of kids are going to outgrow it, and then you have the people who will develop a real problem, much like anything in life.

The real issue in this story is not the car, but the fact that her father said one thing, then did another. I don't know that denying a kid any freedom is going to make them more agreeable to your rules; if anything, they will probably just rebel harder. However, as a parent, you MUST stick to your guns. The message that father ultimately sends to his daughter is 'my word doesn't mean much'. That will be every bit as damaging to her as any drug she might put up her nose.

Just my two cents ...


Good gracious, if that is not a messed up situation made worse. I was a teacher for a few years, and I witnessed numerous parents make many really poor mistakes like this. A true mistake is one where you really don't know what you are doing is wrong, or you completely don't see the bad in the decision. This situation is whacked - how could he think his daughter is going to handle THAT responsibility well? Geez - I feel newspaper headlines in the near future, and that is a sad, horrible feeling to have. Yuck.


Thanks, Joan. I'm glad you got it; I wondered if folks would just think it was a weird headline choice.

And I'm glad it's not just me who thinks he made the wrong choice. His philosophy is that he and his wife just have to guide their daughter to adulthood with "normal" teenage bumps along the road. As someone who had a lot of them -- I think this is more than a bump. And they really are good, thoughtful, caring parents. I was stunned at this decision.


Wow,not what she needs at all.Poor girl,I hope she proves us all wrong.


Wow. From the bigger sisters of 2 hard-core teenage/young 20's drug addicts, I can say fora fact that this daddy sure made the wrong move. I don't even 'care' about the reward aspect of it all ... giving her wheels and freedom is absolutely NOT what this girl needs. Where he should have put his money was in a real rehab facility for this little girl. She'll end up high and in an accident in her sweet new ride ... mark my words! Too bad he chose an SUV - protects her, but damns the rest of the people on the road!!


Nice Jackson Browne reference!


WOW! A reward would be the LAST thing my coke addicted kid would get. I wouldn't even trust her in a car as a passenger. This is just sick. I am sorry if your co worker is a nice guy cuz he is going to get what he deserves with this and whatever that is it won't be good, that's for sure!!!
When I was in high school back in the early 80's there was a girl who received a Trans Am for her graduation. Her boyfriend had been driving it and was speeding and totaled the car after she had it for a couple of weeks. What do you think HER parents did? YUP, you guessed...bought her ANOTHER brand new Trans Am!!!!!!!!! What a punishment!


Wow, what they say is right. The hard parts of parenting never go away, the problems just get bigger.

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