Teach a 16 year old Responsibility?

flowergal-2010November 9, 2010

I'm trying to teach My Niece a little responsibility in Life, since Her Mother has no inkling of the concept: Long story shortened.. My Niece turned 16 several months ago: Her Mother is divorced, has no job, and has no worries! HER new car has been re-possessed and she is living in a house she hasn't made a payment on in over a year~~Her soon to-be EX Husband gave her a good sized tax refund check just to get her off his back. She took that and bought a car with. Her house is in the process of being foreclosed on- she has stretched that process to an un-believeable length of time. On to her Daughter, my niece.... she is a Junior?? in High school, and due to being absent "just cause" and a couple of sick days, she was facing failing her grade...So, she decided over the Summer she wasn't going back. I LITERALLY begged this child to NOT quit School: I told her if she went back to School and stayed in School, I would help her with a down payment or the purchase of a very in-expensive car. She went back (Thank GOD!) I bought thecar as a surprise~~When I called her and told her about it, she said "I don't really like that kind of car" I told her it was fine, no problem. I havent mentioned it since. That was a couple of months ago, and since that, her Mother has tried to "Borrow" money from me several times.... I have already loaned her money that she has never mentioned.During this time, she has e-mailed me several times, cussing me out, be-littling me, cause I have money to pay my bills! My question is: Should I decide to give her Daughter this car (which I still have) is there any way to make sure it can NOT be sold? In other words, I'd like to make sure My Sister or my niece can't sell it in any way. I'm sure they'd rather have the cash, but I refuse to give my Sister any more money, period. She hasn't worked in over 5 years, and relies on everybody else to pay her bills....I know that I'm a fool for even considering this, but when you get down to brass tacks, I DID tell her I'd help her if she stayed in School... I have such HIGH hopes for her in Life and hate to see her grow up like her Mother... HELP, please!!!

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Sure, don't put her name on the title. Make sure she has her own insurance though.

This sounds awful. You have my sympathies.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 1:41PM
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I forgot to mention in my previous post that this situation had pretty much been put to rest~~Until MY Sister e-mailed me today and told me that My NIECE had a change of heart, and NOW wants the car...:O.... I'm thinking the only option is to keep the title in my name, and let my niece drive it and pay the insurance payment... I'm gonna say thats a sure way to find out if they wanted it to sell for some cash...By the way, My Niece hasn't bothered to get her Drivers License yet???? If they BOTH get pissed off, then I know for sure :( SAD situation...

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 3:23PM
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Disagree with all. From your description, you'll not be teaching anyone anything and you'll be putting your niece at incredible risk of expanding stupidness once she gets mobile. I would abandon this entire plan and think of something else.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 5:15PM
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Oh. Yeah. If she doesn't have a license, she doesn't need a car. That money would be better spent on therapy....

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 2:34PM
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Why even consider buying a car for someone without a license??

And HOW will this car teach a 16 year old responsibility?

Makes NO sense to me...

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 5:05PM
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She can get her License anytime now~~ I just hoped that her knowing that if she went back to School and graduted, she would have a major accomplishment under her belt. This would enable her to get a JOB and NOT be like her Mother and depend on everybody else to pay her way thru life. I would give her my last dime (Yea, I know..I'm crazy!) to help make her dreams come true (She has always wanted to be a Doctor up until the School fiasco.) I'm trying to show her that if you REALLY try in Life, anything is possible. I knew her Mother wouldn't be able to further her Education after High School since she has decided to rely on everybody else to pay her way thru life~~ I just want to make a difference in my Nieces Life, but I'm finding it nearly impossible :(

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 8:12AM
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Just my opinion but I do not think handing her a car will teach her anything. If you do decide this is what you are going to do - please call your insurance company and ask about your liability if it the title remains in your name.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 12:22PM
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You do NOT have control or influence in this. You are about to poison her life with your well-wishing foolishness. Sorry....but that's exactly what you're doing.

She's 16 and you've signed on to her dreaming about wanting to be a doctor? Why not an astronaut or a fireman or a ballerina or president? I surely hope somebody in this deal is an adult! She doesn't have a clue and neither do you. Except for the little-girl fantasy, what has she shown you as far as actual interest or aptitude....for ANYTHING? Grades? Ambition? Initiative? Interest in human or animal physiology? Biology? Chemistry? Math? Time spent? Anything? Or has she just learned how to shine you on? With a car in the balance, I'll bet she's been polishing that ability! (Probably with her loser-mother's help.)

I know you love her, auntie, but love and wishes aren't enough. You're getting NOTHING but bad signals coming from both these folks. Suggest you pay attention. This is a bad idea. What you'll be teaching both of them is how to play you.....and nothing else. If you enable the girl you described to become independently mobile, you'll be making a hideous mistake IMHO.

Find another way.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 11:49PM
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First of all, you can't give her the car. She's a minor and I don't think can actually own one. Certainly a person without a license can't register a car. IF you let her use the car, but keep it in your name, you're going to be liable for any and all damages she causes--if she smashes the car into a fence, or drives down the street drunk at 2:30 in the morning and side-swipes a dozen parked cars, if she runs over a toddler and kills him. She's 16--by definition, she's irresponsible, and sadly, hasn't even had any kind of good example at home to learn responsibility. What on earth makes you think there's any chance at all that she'd pay the insurance if you let her use the car? YOU will be paying the insurance.

There are so many reasons NOT to give her the car--her irresponsibility, her mother's irresponsibility (who do you think will be driving your car once Mom's new car gets repo'd?), the fact that teens have a very high incidence of accidents. And frankly, this is just one person's opinion, mind you--NO TEEN should EVER be given a car. If they want to be adults, then they need to learn how adults behave and EARN the money for the car and the insurance.

It's a shame that you've promised her a car, and purchased it. You're in a very difficult position here, now. No--you won't be teaching her responsibility by giving her a car--just the opposite. And who's going to keep an eye on her, making sure she uses the car appropriately? I doubt her mom is going to worry about her following the rules for teen drivers (curfews, passenger limits, etc).

Just seems odd to me, that she wants this car so badly, but hasn't bothered to get a license yet? Guess she's going to be one of those drivers you see on the TV court shows every day of the week--who haven't got a license, who get a friend or family member to get them a car and register and insure it in their name, and who then go out and drive carelessly. They're generally on the court shows because they've had an accident and feel that since the car isn't in their name, they don't have to take the responsibility for the financial consequences.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 11:14PM
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Azzalea, Thank you.... You made points that are always in my mind. The bottom line is that I shouldn't have offered to help with a car: But when she was offered the car and didn't like "The kind of car" I had bought for her, I should be Thanking my Good God above. Its such a shame that responsibility and "being grown-ups" in My Sisters Family starts with a Pre-teen Son and a 16 year old daughter~~Can't get it off my mind, but GREAT advice, Azzalea :)

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 10:14AM
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I would have backed out as soon as she said "I don't like that kind of car." Tell her you got rid of it since it didn't live up to her grand standards.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 7:02PM
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