“My daughter is 12 years old. She’s always struggled to make friends but last school year met “Danielle”. To me, Danielle was a little bossy and cared a lot about popularity, obsessed with making my daughter popular but I figured she was just trying to help. And she was nice. When the schools reopened, Danielle’s mom asked me if I wanted to carpool. She’d drive the kids in the morning and I’d pick them up along with Danielle’s older brother (14). I agreed.”
“At first it went well and the girls loved it. But one constant struggle was getting Danielle and her brother to wear their seat belts. This is a no-argument situation for me, kid or adult, you’re wearing a seatbelt. I lost a friend in high school and it all could’ve been prevented had she worn it. The kids constantly complained and would take them off. I talked to their mom and she kind of shrugged it off. Eventually, they got a little better about not arguing about it but still wouldn’t do it on their own.”
But that wasn’t the end of that!
“It came to a head a few weeks ago. I had to stop at the post office before I brought them home. I parked my car, walked to the mailbox and came back. It took all of a minute, but in that time, Danielle and her brother had taken them off. I told them to put them back on. They refused. I said I wasn’t driving until they put them on. They still refused. I called their mother, she didn’t answer. Called their father, he didn’t answer. Finally, I just followed through on my threat and sat there until they finally put them on. It took 45 minutes. The whole time, my daughter kept begging me to just drive but I refused.
“I drop them off. Back at home, their mom calls me, mad. She said I made her son late for a soccer game. I said he wouldn’t have been if he just wore his seatbelt. She told me I’m not their mom, so I don’t get to control them. I said if they’re in my car, they follow my rules. It all ended with us agreeing to stop the carpool arrangement, which I was fine with. We finished the school year driving our own kids to school.”
And while that seemingly is the end of the conflict, it gets stickier….
“However, now Danielle’s mom says they can’t talk until I apologize to Danielle and her brother. I refuse. I did nothing wrong. My daughter is upset because Danielle is one of her few friends. My husband thinks I should fake an apology so our daughter can keep her friend. I don’t think it’s worth it. I’m not setting an example that they can do whatever at my house and I won’t say anything. My daughter is hurt and furious, currently not speaking with me.”
One user commented: “I think I would die on this mountain too. What kind of people set an example for their children that 1) it’s ok to not wear a seat belt and 2) it’s ok to argue with another adult like that for 45 minutes. NTA. Your daughter might not realize it now, but you may have helped her dodge a bullet.”
While another said: “In a car crash everything will become a projectile, including humans. It is quite common that someone not wearing a seat belt takes someone or even several people with them to their death. Bodies are big, imagine getting kicked in the head by an errant foot by a force so big that it is enough to throw a human body around. Seat belts save lives, and not just your own. It has happened before that several people died in a car crash where everyone could have lived if that one person was wearing a seat belt like the others in the car.”
What do YOU think?
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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