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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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I have a 24 year old son. There has been a lot of lying to

Resolved Question:

I have a 24 year old son. There has been a lot of lying to me throughout his college life and now. He recently graduated from college and has gotten a job in his field and is getting established. To help him, we have allowed him to drive one of our cars on the condition that he pays for his own insurance. Last September, we had the insurance company begin sending him insurance bills directly. Yesterday I got in the mail a suspension notice for the car he has been driving. The insurance was termi
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 4 years ago.
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Dear friend,

I understand that your son has had a credibilty problem in the past. There is not a credible reason that he would jeopordize his own liaility and put himself at risk on purpose.

He has gotten through college and is establishing himself as a professional. This is a great accomplishment and does indicate that he is quite capable and responsible.

Give him the benefit of the doubt. It is quite possible, even likely, that he completely forgot to pay the insurance. Tell him that he needs to reinstate the insurance immediately, and that he cannot drive the car until he does so because the liability might fall on your shoulders, not his.

It does not make much sense that he would do this on purpose, for this would be sabotaging himself, and I'm sure he doesn't wish to to that. He is just a bit disorganized and has overlooked paying the bill.

Call him and remind him. I'm sure it is just something he let slip past him. I have a 24 year old as well (daughter) who was brilliant in school, but sometimes overlooks responsibilities. These children (even at age 24) do so much and never have time for everything. They are still growing up.

I'm fairly certain that this was just an oversight. Remind him, casually, get his reassurance, and then forget about it. It will be fixed.

I wish you the patience that it takes to be a parent at this stage of the game (we are never done being parents, it seems).

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and 2 other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ok, just to clarify a little bit. It is my tendency to get upset and respond angrily -- at this point, from what you are saying, I should just calmly tell him to take care of the car situation -- insurance and reinstating registration? And trust that it will be done? If so, this would be a different approach from past issues. How long do I wait? Do I give a deadline? The longer he and the car do not have insurance the more the fee will be ($7 a day and we are already at $626). Parenting at this point is a delicate balance -- I understand.

Thank you so much for your help.
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 4 years ago.
Dear Sandy,

Perhaps because you are a bit overexcitable, you son had to tiptoe around you, and that might have contributed to him telling you things that weren't true. It might have been the easieist thing for him to do. That is something to think about. You are a bit "high strung" and may become stressed more easily or quickly than you would lilke.

I agree with the approach that you proposed. Tell him calmly about all of the fees involved, plus the $7,.00 daily penalty as well. Since he is working, he will hopefully be able to handle this $626, which does seem quite high.

If he is without vehicle then his deadline is probably immediately. If he is driving without registration and insurance then he needs to get this done right away.

If you does not have the money, you may considerer giving him a loan, if this is the way you handle things in your family. If you are liable for damage he does with your car and has no insurance, then you should give him no more than a week (or loan him part of the money if he will responsibly pay it back).

Whatever you do, remain calm in the content of what you say, in your body language, and in your tone of voice. If you avoid old habits of getting over excited or angry, then he will not resort to old habits of telling you what he thinks you want to hear.

I believe that you can fix this situation in a peaceful and easy manner.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and 2 other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you