Daughter Totaled Her Car and Yelled at Me

Modern Parent

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My 16-year-old daughter crashed and totaled the car I bought for her to be able to drive herself to her out-of-district school after we moved. I have been unemployed since Covid and had to use stimulus money to purchase the car for her and struggled to keep up with the additional insurance and gas costs. She refused to switch to the school district we moved to over a year ago. I switched her to online learning for her school after the accident for the time being. It’s been a blessing in disguise to have that option available right now due to covid. 

I would rather do anything other than have to drive her 40+ minutes round trip each morning again, then another 40+ minutes to pick her back up in the afternoon. It was a hardship doing this as I have to get her younger brother up and ready 2 hours before he usually has to get up for school. She believes it is my responsibility to either replace the car or start driving her to in-person classes. She also has after-school activities most days with basketball, yearbook, national honor society, student council, and cross country that add additional trips back and forth to her school.

She screamed at me and called me toxic for switching her to online learning (same school and classes just from home via a school-issued Chromebook) the same day as the accident because I didn’t ask her first. I was trying to make sure she got switched without missing anything. She hates doing online classes and complains about it daily. She said that I am being selfish for doing this because I technically CAN take her but I WON’T.

She said if there’s no car and she needs to do online classes there’s no reason for her to stay here and that she’ll go live with dad. Then she went on to say her life would have been so much better if she lived with her dad. She went and stayed with her dad for a few days after the accident but came back when basketball practices started back up after school and he does not get home from work in time to take her I assume. So now I still need to drive her daily back and forth for basketball practices and games in the afternoons after both kids are done with school.

She yelled at me saying I am a liar about not having a lot of money right now for things beyond needed items, because her dad showed her his new child support amount from his paychecks. (He had claimed to be unemployed for about 10 years, missed 2 whole years and now they are finally collecting.) She demands to know exactly where all her money from him goes, because she doesn’t see it. I explained it goes towards all kinds of things for her she does not see like bills too and I could show her some of the recent monthly bills so she could have an idea how much things cost. She said she wouldn’t believe anything I showed her anyways was real or not anyways. I am not sure how we got to this place, I do not lie or am dishonest with my children or anyone. I feel she has no sense of accountability for the accident she caused and does not appreciate how much I have already done to get her the car to begin with. I had to get a job and earn the money for a license, my first car, and all costs associated with it on my own when I was her age.

I am mostly venting but would love to know what other parents would do in this situation or any advice to keep my sanity here? Is this a normal teenage phase?

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New York City, NY
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