How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask NormanM Your Own Question
NormanM, Author, lecturer and psychotherapist.
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DHP, ECP, UKCP Registered
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
NormanM is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My friend has an 18 year old female teen that was offered the

This answer was rated:

My friend has an 18 year old female teen that was offered the following:
How unusual is this?

You can have a car if you take no illicit drugs.
Kid said: I want to be able to smoke pot. I won't drive stoned, but I won't be the only person in highschool of all my friends not to smoke. They won't want to be with me. I'll skip the car.

Problem: it's incredibly inconvenient for the kid's parents to not have the kid drive, and public transit isn't a very viable option.

Norman M. :

Hi, I´m Norman. Can we chat?

Norman M. :

Since you are offline, I shall switch to Q and A mode and leave a reply for your return.

I don’t think it is at all unusual, at least insofar as the mother’s offer is concerned. However, her daughter’s response is! It is a very honest and straightforward answer, which suggests the she is a very fair person. Normally, the teen would have accepted the car and got stoned anyway.

I guess that the next issue is what can the mother do about it? Not a lot really. If she sticks to her guns, then she and the teen have to handle the inconveniences of using public transport. On the other hand, if she does not, she is to a great extent condoning her daughter’s drug habit, and lets not beat about the bush here, that is what it is.

The mother then has to add up the pros and cons of each option and choose the least damaging to herself and her daughter, Or, perhaps to modify the offer to the extent that the teen gets the car, but if she is ever found driving under the influence of alcohol or an illegal substances, the car goes immediately. It seems likely that given the teens extremely honest response to the issue, she would honor that, and while she may well smoke with her friends, at least she won’t when she is driving. She IS going to smoke dope if it is available, that is clear, so maybe this kind of damage limitation exercise would work for both of them

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

after you reply back I'll click excellent. I had to laugh while reading your answer. It's such a difficult situation and it just makes your answer, which fits right in with reality, funny.

I asked a psychologist friend what she thought (she doesn't know the kid -- now 18, today).

the additional backstory is that she attempted suicide recently after texting 3x, 2 months apart, thoughts of it. Her attempt was holding her breath under water. She's in counseling.


She's a smart kid:

Parents: no, you can't go to a rave.

Kid: look, dad, you and I always tell each other the truth. So...I can tell you I'm going, and go, or do what all my friends do and lie to their parents. Either way, I'm going.


What the heck do you do with that? :-)


Parents: Don't drive there.

Kid: you know how many of my friends get in accidents. I don't get in accidents.


Now: given the "attempts" she's made, it's more concerning, but on the other hand, taking away a car depresses her further and is incredibly inconvenient to any working schedule. Today the suggestion was made to for them to honestly say: You have us over a barrell -- if we upset you, you threaten to do something. But we're also in the middle of a divorce, and your attempt was public as it is. WTF? You have to deal with no pot at least until divorce is final and then discuss at that point"

of course, she could still say "no,"

Parents are in a bind if they let her and a bind if they don't (risk of depression for her and incredible inconvenience on scheduling for everyone). And she'll probably do more drugs. ugh.

All in all, I think the compromise approach I suggested is best. Of course it has risks, but I think it is the lowest risk option!
NormanM and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you