Over stepping the mark

(21 Posts)
hettiw Sun 30-Mar-14 17:47:05

I have just paid for my son to come on to my insurance for 3 months while I teach him to drive. It is an automatic so I will then pay for a few lessons after the 3 months so he learns to drive a manual.
I was looking forward to teaching him, we spend less and less time together now he is 17 and I miss him a lot.
Today he told me his girlfriend, who comes from a wealthy family, has said her dad has offered to get him insured and then teach him.
My son says the car is a manual and much better than our little car.
I am so angry. He is my son and I spent a long time working on a way I could give him the opportunity to get his driving licence. How dare this guy just come along and do that. Who does he think he is?
He did not even ask how I would feel. I have told my son, no, we will carry on with my original plan. My son says I have taken it to heart to much and his girlfriends dad was just trying to do a nice thing.

Innogen Sun 30-Mar-14 18:53:32

He should have run it by you, but I think it is a really nice gesture.

And I hate to say it but a manual is better to learn on.

LastingLight Sun 30-Mar-14 20:20:10

I would have felt the same way you do. At the very least the gf's father should have discussed it with you before making the offer to your son.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 30-Mar-14 21:44:49

Your son is 17. Do you really feel that you can reject this offer? Surely it will be up to your son? The only way to force your son to stick to the original idea is through emotional blackmail.

Also, having had a DD learn to drive in the last year wouldnt your money be better spent on driving lessons? The test is far harder than when I learned to drive. All I had to do was not run over the man with the red flag!

chocoluvva Mon 31-Mar-14 01:11:56

I agree that your DS's GF's father is overstepping the mark - I know what it's like to have a parent of a GF/BF do that with my DD. Very annoying.

Apart from any other considerations it could potentially act as a disincentive for your DS not to break up with his GF, which is not fair to either of them. However, we don't know that his intentions are anything other than kind, even if they are not very sensitive or necessarily well thought out. Of course your DS is unlikely to understand that.

Do you have much contact with the GF's father? Perhaps you could thank him for his offer, but explain that you've just insured your car and suggest that if he would still like to help with your DS' lessons after the 3 months that would be very kind.

Chloerose75 Mon 31-Mar-14 01:16:07

I think its a very kind offer and it's up to your ds what he wants to do. Don't take it as anything personal.

flow4 Mon 31-Mar-14 08:39:04

I'd be upset too. It's not the practical reality, is it, really; it's the implication that the best you can manage for your son is not good enough. sad

I think you need to disentangle the hurt feelings from the practical pros and cons (though I know that's hard). Practically, it would be good for your DS to learn on a manual, but (IMO) bad for him to be indebted to his GF's father in this way, and bad for you both to lose this chance to have some time together. However, it's hard to predict what driving lessons will do to a parent-child relationship, so you can't be sure whether that's a pro or con. I had a great relationship with my dad, but we fell out big-time when he tried to teach me to drive!

Is it possible for you to pay for regular (once a week or even once a fortnight) driving lessons with an instructor? Then your sessions could be extra practice, without the pressure smile ... And if your GF's dad wants to give him still more practice, then that's a nice bonus, not a substitute for what you can give your DS. smile

mrsjay Mon 31-Mar-14 09:55:47

I would be feeling just like you it is nice and perhaps the man thought he was doing you a favour BUT id feel like I wasn't good enough or something, not sure what you should do but i would be really hurt, and this girl might not be his girlfriend forever they could break up today it is a bit over familiar imo

Martorana Mon 31-Mar-14 09:58:50

I think he was just doing a nice thing. How was he to know you had so much emotional investment in the process?

chocoluvva Mon 31-Mar-14 10:37:12

But taking a learner driver out in your own car is a big deal surely Martorana. Apart from the cost and time the GF's father will be taking on a role normally done by a parent - sitting beside OP's DS for an hour at a time, teaching him to drive.

As Flow says OP's DS will be indebted to his current girlfriend's father and this man is giving him an extra reason to continue going out with his daughter - it's involving him very closely with the family, which will make things more difficult when the relationship with his GF ends or make it more difficult to end the relationship. If this was the GF's mum offering people would say she was over-involved, interfering etc.

He should have consulted OP's DS first.

chocoluvva Mon 31-Mar-14 10:37:48

wrong - should have consulted OP first.

LongTimeLurking Mon 31-Mar-14 12:16:44

I think it is a kind gesture but he perhaps could have run it past you first.

On a practical note learning to drive an automatic first and then getting manual lessons is back to front. A manual is harder/more complicated to drive and he would be better off learning that first because the switch to automatic is then straight forward.

UC Mon 31-Mar-14 12:25:35

Can't your son do both? ie have lessons with you AND his gf's dad?

shobby Mon 31-Mar-14 12:37:58

Hmm, I feel your pain and hurt. DH and I are currently going out with our 17 yr old DS in his own little car which I found, paid for, sorted out the insurance for ( good old baby bonds!). He is also having driving lessons from a family friend ( a driving instructor in a dual control car) which we pay for. He is doing ok, but I am obviously stricter than both DH and the instructor and have picked him up on several things before they become bad habits (crossing hands on wheel, keeping his hand on gearstick) and he argues with me constantly when I point something out. Last week he told me his instructor has said to he should stop going driving with me as I am teaching him 'wrong'. I'm really hurt as I think his driving has improved a lot after my sessions but obviously I'm not a qualified instructor so I have stopped going driving with him. I also haven't said anything to the instructor, I don't see the point.
In your situation I can see why you would be hurt by your DS's GF father offering to help when you already had arranged a plan, but the bottom line is he needs to learn in a manual car, and when learning swapping cars can be confusing and dent his confidence. My DS says he finds this and he is going between two manual cars. I have bowed out because I want him to be a safe driver and pass his test, so I've swallowed my pride a bit and are letting him get on with it. You are right to be upset because you have not been consulted, but the plan offered will probably be a good idea and give him a better grounding.

BackforGood Mon 31-Mar-14 17:39:38

I agree with your ds - it's not personal, it's a kind offer. It's not really ideal to learn on an automatic, and, tbh, it rarely ends well to be taught by a close family member. Take the offer and save the money you save for his test or some professional lessons or towards his first insurance.

It's not about you, it's about your ds getting the best start in learning to drive.

Martorana Mon 31-Mar-14 18:38:16

Oh, it's one of those "being beholden" things. I never understand those.............

TheGirlFromIpanema Mon 31-Mar-14 18:41:57

I disagree with the majority here.

I feel a 17 year old already learning to drive who obviously has a relationship with his gf's parents, is mature enough to decide whether to accept offers like this or not by himself confused

50ShadesofGreyMatter Wed 09-Apr-14 06:11:23

I have to completely disagree with LongTimeLurking and say that learning in an auto then switching to manual will be absolutely fine (speaking from experience).

As for the gf father, yes he should have run it by you and I would feel hurt in your position (or possibly relieved, depending on the temperment of the child) having taught two of mine to drive

hettiw Wed 09-Apr-14 09:15:14

Thanks so much for your response and yes I am going to pay for one lesson a week and use our sessions to practice what the instructor has taught him.

hettiw Wed 09-Apr-14 09:19:51

PS Thanks everyone, when you are a single parent you sometimes question your decisions (even after all this time)
It's so reassuring to feel I am not alone in my thoughts and judgements, thanks everyone.

chocoluvva Wed 09-Apr-14 21:45:38

Oh goodness no - you're not alone. Sometimes people are just incredibly insensitive!

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