In a family feud, a father (OP) finds himself caught between protecting his daughter’s safety and her autonomy after she receives a ticket for texting and driving. His stern reaction, leading to the revocation of her license, spirals into an intense conflict with his ex-wife and daughter, highlighting a clash of parenting styles and the dangerous recklessness of youth.
A New Milestone
The OP’s daughter, who recently turned 16, achieved the milestone of receiving her driving license. In celebration of this big achievement, OP gifted his daughter with a car.
OP and his ex-wife share 50/50 custody of their daughter. Therefore, OP plays just as big of a role as his ex-wife when it comes to making big parenting decisions. When his daughter gets in trouble behind the wheel, he decides to act fast.
Eye Opening Revelation
The joy turns into a test of principles when the daughter comes home with a ticket for texting and driving, leading to a $200 fine and a 20-day suspension of her license. OP, while shocked and disappointed, feels a strong urge to ensure his daughter understands the severity of her actions.
OP decides to confront his daughter about her irresponsible act, leading to a heated argument. Despite his anger, OP struggles to get his point across as his daughter defends her actions by saying, “Everyone does it.” OP is shocked by his daughter’s lack of remorse.
Actions Have Consequences
The confrontation ends with OP grounding her until she proves her responsibility and confiscating her car keys, a decision that his daughter finds outrageous. This new responsibility does not seem like something she was ready for after all.
Intervention by the Mother
In a surprising turn, the mother gets involved after hearing about the incident from their daughter. She contradicts OP, believing that he should have consulted her before deciding on the punishment.
Excusing The Behavior
She continues to back up her daughter’s point about “everyone does it” and points out her need for the car for work and social activities. Clearly, his ex-wife has enjoyed the convenience of her daughter being able to drive herself to various activities and is not on the same page as OP.
OP’s disagreement with his ex-wife takes an intense turn. Despite his attempts to emphasize his daughter’s safety and responsibility, the mother decides not to enforce his rule during her custody time. She dismisses OP’s worries, stating that the 20-day suspension itself indicates the incident’s severity.
Raising the Stakes
After a few days, OP calls his ex-wife, hoping she might have reconsidered her stance. However, the ex-wife reaffirms her decision to let their daughter drive. OP feels a strong sense of disappointment and fear for his daughter’s safety.
Faced with no other choice, OP resorts to a more serious measure: invoking his legal right to revoke his minor daughter’s license. Despite knowing the decision could mar his daughter’s record and make her ineligible for a license till 18, he decides to take the step. He contacts the DMV and finalizes the revocation.
The bombshell drops when OP texts the mother about his drastic step. He also sends a picture of the revocation document. The mother reacts harshly, calling OP’s actions out of line.
Clash of Parenting Approaches
OP argues that his ex-wife is neglecting their daughter’s safety by enabling her reckless behavior. He stands firm on his decision. The argument presents a clear divide in their parenting methods, focusing on safety versus independence.
As to be expected, the daughter reacts poorly to her father’s drastic decision. This increases the tension in their relationship, with the daughter viewing her father as a severe disciplinarian.
Was Ensuring His Daughter’s License Was Suspended for Two Years Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “You were in the right and then pulled the old “You made me do this because you wouldn’t listen otherwise.” Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it. Especially this. Now, your daughter will be an 18-year-old NEW driver, and you’ve lost any respect for her. I hope it was worth it.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “I think you did what you had to do to ensure the safety of your child. Maybe it could have been handled more cooperatively with the mom, but since the mom defended her daughter, not sure it would have led to a different result.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “The fact that the daughter and ex both try to justify her texting and driving by claiming “everyone does it” proves the daughter has absolutely no intention of stopping. She learned absolutely nothing from the ticket.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “I have ZERO sympathy for people who do such stupidly dangerous stuff. Texting and driving ranks right up there with impaired driving. And your ex is evil for endorsing your daughter doing such things.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.