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[Support our Advertisers!] Contributions from our Members:   "Impossible to Please" ... My daughter was pouting. I had added to our daily list of things to do. She felt I had gone too far this time, but, honestly, I hadn't. "Something else? We already have so much to do! Aren't we ever done?" This tired cry sounded so familiar to me. [Support our Advertisers!]
Home » CHFWeb Forum » TitusTwo » Would you say anything?
Would you say anything? [message #818746] Mon, 07 November 2016 13:38 Go to next message
praise2christ  is currently offline praise2christ
Messages: 2187
Registered: August 2009
Location: Northern KY
Senior Member
There is a family at our church. They also live right around the corner from us. We live about 35 minutes from church. The oldest daughter is 14 and is in the middle school youth group with my twins.

The mom does not drive. She has never gotten her license. According to her, she isn't afraid. She just doesn't want to drive. As a result, she relies on her DH and others for rides for her and the kids. It is complicated by the fact that her DH works 3rd shift.

This has caused several issues in the past. She has committed to ministries and then not been able to get a ride. The issues that I have had revolve around the daughter. Because I live so close, I am often asked to ride her to and from youth events and Wednesday night church. In general, I have no problem doing this when I'm driving that way already.

However, there have been times that the parents have made assumptions. The most recent (but, not the only) example:

On Saturday, the youth group drove to a multi-church dodge-ball tournament. We were to have the kids at church at 9am and pick them up again at 6:30 pm.

The dad had a softball tournament and wasn't going to be able to get the daughter to church at 9am. For some reason, they didn't ask me to take her (I would have been able to). Instead, they called the Youth Pastor and asked him to come to church early so they could drop the daughter off on their way. He agreed. When he got there, the daughter was sitting outside and the parents were already gone.

My mom was the one who picked up my DD after the event. When she got there, the daughter asked if she was taking my DD home. She told her, no, she was taking my DD to her house. Turns out, the parents had texted the daughter to hitch a ride home with me. But, they never asked me and I wasn't there. When she called her parents, they said she could just stay at church (alone, outside, in the cold) until they could get there. The Youth Pastor said no way and ended up driving her home. For most people, this would be a wake-up that they need to double check that someone can drive her. But, this type of thing has happened before and just doesn't seem to bother them.

I know that the Youth Pastor was going to talk to them. But, I think I should talk to them, too, since I am the one they seem to be depending on. Something along the lines of, "I am happy to drive your daughter to and from youth events if I'm headed that way. But, I need you to ask me first and I can let you know if and when I am leaving and when I can pick up. Sometimes someone else picks up my kids or I don't go straight home, so we need to discuss both drop off and pickup."

I would also like to add, "When I drive your daughter to an event, I feel responsible. So, even if I am not available to drive her home, I want to be sure that arrangements are made. If there is another incident where arrangements are not made prior to the event, I am afraid I won't be able to drive her again." But, I'm not sure if that is just my annoyance talking. I hate to prevent the daughter from coming to church.

Thoughts? Can you think of a better way to handle it?

Stacy, mom to 12-year-old boy/girl twins and a three-year-old boy.

"Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's finger." Hans Christian Andersen
Re: Would you say anything? [message #818748 is a reply to message #818746 ] Mon, 07 November 2016 15:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Messages: 4176
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
I've been stuck in situations somewhat like this one - and narrowly escaped a "Your a SAHM, so you'll be available" type commitment a few years back (the post is on CHF somewhere). I had one mother willing to have me drop her teen aged daughter, at night, in an abandoned mechanics building across the street from an open strip bar. She was so very angry with me that I would not comply. When I forced the situation, she managed to find a ride but we never saw the girl socially again.

The youth leader absolutely should speak to them. You are willing to do any of the driving needed, provided there are courteous about a heads up and that there are firm agreements ahead of each individual chauffeured outings. I think that is very fair. I think your irritation is understandable, but if you think that addressing it right this moment is more about that, than trying to coordinate for the girl, I'd hold off until the next request. Otherwise you may end up feeling as if you were piling on rather than setting boundaries/communicating.

[Updated on: Mon, 07 November 2016 15:02]

Re: Would you say anything? [message #818749 is a reply to message #818746 ] Mon, 07 November 2016 16:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
Messages: 14918
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member

I would probably let the youth pastor handle it for now, and then next time she asks you, or when you get the chance, yes, speak to her. "I'm happy to drive Gertrude to and from youth when we are going, but please don't assume because, as happened the other night, sometimes I make other arrangements and can't do it. We really don't want Gertrude left in an unsafe situation!"

edited to clarify: I'm assuming the youth pastor is addressing it from the church's point of view (i.e., the church can't allow kids to sit outside alone due to liability issues). I was thinking of not "piling on" with him. You would then address it from your own standpoint when it is time for you to deal with her next (as opposed to making a special trip to address it with her.

[Updated on: Mon, 07 November 2016 19:56]

Lisa R.
Re: Would you say anything? [message #818751 is a reply to message #818746 ] Mon, 07 November 2016 16:47 Go to previous message
elliemaejune  is currently offline elliemaejune
Messages: 1221
Registered: April 2005
Location: Texas
Senior Member
I think you should go to her and tell her directly. I think she just won't get it if you let the youth pastor handle it. Clearly she does not recognize boundaries (or pride. My pride would keep my from continually doing that kind of thing. Or a true sense of responsibility, or she would not volunteer for ministry events that she cannot get herself to.). And once you tell her what you need to tell her, you need to stick to your guns. Yes, her daughter will suffer. You cannot fix everything.

For the record, mercy is not my most operative gift...OTOH, these parents are taking advantage of everyone else's mercy.

Born again since 1974
Married to Mr. Ellie for over 30 years
Mom to 2 amazing grown-up dds and 2 dsil
Grandmother to 1 beautiful baby boy

A kitten dies every time you use an apostrophe to pluralize.
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