Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


Am I being a push over parent?

217 replies

Flowers24 · 15/04/2021 11:44

Ok, son hates driving, has a car but rarely uses it. I drive him to work and back, collect him and his gf if they are out. I am now also taking his gf to work and collecting her, as well as working from home and. His car sits idle in the road. He says he doesnt like driving, or sometimes says he is too tired to drive.
Dh says this has to stop as i an running about all over the place. I am not very good at being firm so nervous as to how to deal with this, and also if ds really is nervous I dont want to push it? He passed test 2 years ago.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Kaleidoscopecascade · 15/04/2021 11:45

Yes you are definitely being a pushover.


DartmoorChef · 15/04/2021 11:46

You really are being a pushover and your husband is absolutely right.

Tell your son to sort it out and grow up.


AryaStarkWolf · 15/04/2021 11:46

Yes you are, I agree with your DH, your son is taking the piss


YouCantBeSadHoldingACupcake · 15/04/2021 11:47

Yep, if he doesn't want to drive he can take the bus


soughsigh · 15/04/2021 11:47

The only way he will get less nervous is by driving. My parents refused to give me lifts anywhere, in fact the day I got my test they sent me off to pick my sister up from a friends (and probably cracked out the wine).

If you think that it will help, you can offer to sit with him while he learns the routes to give him confidence.


AnxiousFTMFriendlyAdvicePlease · 15/04/2021 11:47

I think you are being a pushover OP. Maybe your son needs some advanced driving lessons/practice to get his confidence up. But whatever happens he shouldn’t be relying on you to drive him around and certainly not his girlfriend too, I think you are just enabling this co-dependency.


HollowTalk · 15/04/2021 11:48

You must be mad! If he doesn't want to drive, why does he have a car? He could sell that and spend the money on taxis. I'm sure you have enough to do without driving him and his girlfriend to work and back.


WithLoveFromMyselfToYourself · 15/04/2021 11:49

I’d be amazed if anyone disagrees with your husband.
You really aren’t doing your son a favour with this.


PinkCookie11 · 15/04/2021 11:50

Yeah that’s a lot, obv parents are going to give lifts to their kids but everyday to and from work and now his girlfriend, it’s too much for you.
Just say to him you have a car, we can go out together to get you used to it, or tell him to sell the car and get the bus. I’m sure he’ll soon drive it then.


Acornacorn · 15/04/2021 11:53

This is utter madness!!
Collecting them if they’re out and have had a drink is fair enough - especially if they reciprocate - but taking them to and from work is ridiculous.


Scottishskifun · 15/04/2021 11:53

Yes your being a push over there is a middle ground of getting him some advanced driving lessons (these are for people who have passed their tests) to improve his confidence but prewarn him that the lifts will be stopping


lanthanum · 15/04/2021 11:57

Give him a week where you go with him on his journey to work but he drives there and back. Then he's on his own.

I can understand a little nervousness driving on his own to start with, but he needs to get past it. I learned to drive late in life, and once I'd passed my test, I gave a lift to the chap who had been giving me a lift previously - that was great, as it meant I had someone friendly beside me who could advise and reassure.

Too tired to drive is more difficult to deal with, as accidents can happen when people drive over-tired, but it sounds like it might be an excuse here.

Who is paying for the (double-whack) of petrol? Is he costing you money as well as time?


Unanananana · 15/04/2021 11:58

Oh my word. Just why?

He can drive. He has a car. His girlfriend can bug her boyfriend for lifts.

Grow a spine, woman!! Say no!!


SeaTurtles92 · 15/04/2021 11:59

You're a pushover and they're taking you for a mug. Tell them both to catch the bus. You aren't their personal chauffeur.


Retrievemysanity · 15/04/2021 12:01

Seems mad that he has a car if he’s not going to use it, such a waste of money on insurance etc. Not fair on you to be taxi like this either, it’s very selfish on his part. Sounds like you need to be more assertive and tell him to use public transport for work or as pp have suggested, more advanced driving lessons or practise. Has he had a collision or near miss to make him nervous? He needs to appreciate that relying on you isn’t a long term solution and he needs to start thinking about the future (if he changes jobs or has DC etc) when he might well need to drive.


choli · 15/04/2021 12:06

Yes. You are a pushover and bad as your son sounds his girlfriend sounds worse. If she is also living in your house then there are three people who need to grow up, you, your son and his girlfriend. This situation is ridiculous.


Dishwashersaurous · 15/04/2021 12:08


If he doesn't want to drive.

Fine. He sells the car and takes the bus


Flowers24 · 15/04/2021 12:10

I know, I knew it was ridiculous really but didnt know how to stop it. I am too soft and my ds just says either he is too nervous to drive, or he is too tired to drive in at weekends (as stays up all night).

Dh has been on at me for ages to sort this out, I fear if he has to get his own way to work for example he may oversleep , or be late and lose the job , mad I know ,x

OP posts:

Yokey · 15/04/2021 12:11

Don't pressure him to drive if he lacks confidence, but public transport might be just the boost he's looking for!


Flowers24 · 15/04/2021 12:12

There arent any buses from us to his place of work or the gf though, can walk either in 30 mins I guess.

OP posts:

Pupster21 · 15/04/2021 12:15

It’s not really helpful to his confidence in driving is it.


Nitpickpicnic · 15/04/2021 12:16

So... the prime directive of parenting is ‘Equip them for independent adulting as best you can’.

You are not working to that goal. Worse, you are preventing another family’s child from adulting as well.

Invite them both for a sit-down. Tell them clearly that in 2 weeks time the lifts end, no exemptions. Hand them the bus timetable, make no mention of driving or his car. They can do the maths, presumably?

If there’s any sulking, make a show of being very offended, and get your husband to tell them they need to buy you some flowers for the generous lifts to this point. Underline that point firmly somehow.

And firmly refuse to come running when they test you (which they will). Call it tough love- from you to yourself. And remember the prime directive. I bet there’s other areas you need better boundaries too?


SleepingStandingUp · 15/04/2021 12:16

Hang on so it's only a couple of miles away?

I assume they both live with you? How old? Do they pay rent?

Sounds like time for a grown up chat. He needs to sell his car and pay you for all the petrol, same for gf. He also needs to fit around work so may have to go in earlier or stay later until you're free.

Do they do anything in the house or are you also cooking, cleaning etc?

He doesn't sound old enough for a car or a gf


Cavagirl · 15/04/2021 12:18

How old is DS?


zigaziga · 15/04/2021 12:18

I hate driving. I have passed (many many attempts though!) but I truly don’t believe I’m safe on the road. My last attempt at driving had me wedge the car into a pavement within 100 metres of where I started to drive. I’m not sure I’ve actually ever driven the car without crying.. Anyway, whatever, we can’t all be good at everything. However my point is - I don’t expect people to drive me places. When I take the kids out we walk or get the bus, I don’t call my DH for a lift. He drives us if we’re going somewhere as a family but if I’m going somewhere on my own or with the kids I wouldn’t ask him.
If you can’t or won’t drive (which I think is a pretty valid choice, as someone who is atrocious at it) you just have to be prepared to use public transport a lot.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?