Parent Failure: Pistol-Whipped Mom

Yes, I am declaring this a parent failure.

Surely you’ve heard about the high school student who pistol whipped her mom into buying her a new car. Initially the mother refused to buy the car and the girl responded by grabbing a gun, whacking her mother with it, and making her go to the dealership to buy the car.

By they way, the Nissan 350Z is a cute car. I’ve coveted it myself on these suburban streets. But I’ve never taken Jim hostage and demanded that he buy me one.

Why is this a parent failure? Because the mom sat at the dealership and said nothing. Sorry, young lady, but if you were my kid, I would have been screaming at the top of my lungs once we were inside the dealership. OK, thinking this through it might not have been a great idea. The teenager could have responded by shooting up the place.

Did no one inside the dealership notice the bruised mother? Didn’t they wonder what was going on at her surely-evident reluctance to buy the car for her daughter? When we’ve bought cars it has taken so long and we spent so much time with the salesman that they are now regulars at Thanksgiving dinner and the boys are named after them! OK, that’s not true. But we’ve spent a lot of time with car guys. It’s never been a quick and easy process for us. Are we the only ones?!

Even if the mother went into the dealership willing to pay sticker price, wasn’t that a red flag? Does anyone pay sticker price? Did she not haggle even a little bit? Instead of thinking it was his lucky day, the salesman should have called in professionals for a psychiatric evaluation.

Wasn’t there a time of test driving? Was there no time the girl was in a position of vulnerability?

The mother waited until the next day while the girl was at school to find the gun and some drug paraphernalia to call the police.

I cannot grasp how this happened, honestly. I guess the girl must have been under extreme pressure. She is or was Ivy League bound–a clue to her intelligence. Is this the proof we’ve needed to believe that young adults are not fully capable of logical thought until their early- to mid-twenties? Apparently she wasn’t an angel child if the drug paraphernalia and stolen weapon are what they appear to be.

Was the mother so tired of fighting with her that it was just easier (and life-saving!) to finally give in? Is this the direction Aaron and I are heading because I no longer have the strength or commitment to argue into infinity about the things that are important to him (i.e., McDonald’s on Saturday, Pop Tarts are fruit, etc.) Am I one good smack away from buying him a flat-screen TV for his room?

This incident is so many different kinds of sad that I can’t wrap my mind around it. I know there’s a parenting lesson in here somewhere. I’m just not sure what it is. Don’t pressure your kids to succeed at Ivy-League standards? Be stricter? Be more lenient? Don’t so drugs and carry weapons?

What do you need to do as a parent so your child understands that there will be consequences for their actions? This young woman got up the next day and went to school. She did it sans gun and purse, which was a smart choice. Still, she went to school…

I hope everything works out for this family.


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