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When kids get a job but don't drive

Thisisnotus's picture

I just want some advice on how to proceed since I know it's a conversation coming up soon.

SD16 got a summer job yesterday. She doesn't have a drivers license or a car....I have no idea why other than BM is afraid to let her have that freedom as she is still totally under her thumb and BM stalks SD's phone nonstop even though she is a good kid who causes no problems...and BM doesn't let her hang out with friends much like most teen girsl want to do...she has even told her NO she can't go the football games . SD very very immature for her she isn't even to the age of even thinking of do anything out of the way.

So...she randomly gets a job and she starts next weekend and then goes full on when school is out during the weekdays. First of all, BM barey makes her even go to school, and she is normally late for school. BM works full time, DH works full time, and I work full time.

This job is minutes away from my work.....a long way away from DH and BM's work. So, I'm just waiting on the question for me to take her. I don't think it is my responsibility to take her to and from work.

Is it a normal thing for kids to get jobs if they don't drive? I mean how on earth do they get to and from???  MY SD16 drives and has her own car, so no issues for her summer job.

BM didn't consult with DH on SD getting a job, so my only thought is nobody thought this out....just fearful it is going to fall on me as if I don't already have enough on my plate with my own 3 teen daughters and 1 year old.

Thoughts? Do I just say no when asked? I literally drive right by the place twice a day.

Thisisnotus's picture

let me add that it will either fall on me or MIL. MIL watches our 1 year old and as I've metioned before is frantic any time BM and SK's are involved in anyway....which equals panic all I need is MIL riding back and forth from her house to the beach (a good 30 minute drive) in all kinds of toursit traffic twice a day to get SD to her job and back.

sunshinex's picture

Girl my HUSBAND has a job but doesn't drive. He is the WORST with tests and fails everytime he goes to get it, even though he's a good driver. It sucks so much. I drop him off and he takes a cab home because it's too late for me to pick him up. But if his schedule didn't work with mine or I simply didn't want to drop him off, I would tell him to take public transportation. 

SteppedOut's picture


shamds's picture

If sd needs a daily lift to and from work has she got the guts to ask you directly? Likely answer is no if she is disrespectful and ignores you. 

If your partner asks you say no!! You are busy with the kids you already have and she should learn to be self sufficient and self dependent 

Thisisnotus's picture

The only problem is that having 3 older kids and a baby....I sometimes need to leave work early. Or sometimes I just leave work early, or I stay late. I'm not really the type of person that likes to be on someone elses time....I know that it is sort of a flaw.

She is always super nice to me, so I have no real reason not to help her out other than the simple fact that I do not want one ounce more of responsibility than I already have. So then, I feel I may just look like a jerk for saying no.


Thisisnotus's picture


STaround's picture

I think there are  a lot of reasons kids do not get licenses these days, insurance costs are certainly one.  I don't know why the kid could not get a job closer to home.  

IF the schedule worked with mine and IF SO made it clear that the kid had to be ready 5 minutes before we leave, I would do it. BUT the first time kid not ready, not my problem. 

fourbrats's picture

due to our somewhat ridiculous state rules and cost. They have to take driver's ed which is upwards of $600 if they are minors, the insurance is crazy and they only get a graduated license which means they couldn't drive themselves home from work anyway. We just sucked it up and drove them. However, all of the kids had a permit at 15 1/2 because you can hold a permit for as long as necessary and they have almost three years of driving experience before they go in to test. So far in 7 years of kids driving we have only had one minor (knock on wood) accident and zero tickets. 

shellpell's picture

No not normal. My first jobs as a teen, I took the bus. Maybe skid should uber it to work using her earnings and learn about budgeting. Not your job to take her to hers.

TwoOfUs's picture SD did this, too. 

Now, to be fair, she got the job at 15 before she could drive...but it was still a major PITA. 

The job was at a bakery that was near her BM but about 20 minutes from us. She would wake up at 5 am to go in and start all the breads and such and come home around 7 am before school. Again...we weren't consulted but when she was with us, DH would wake up, take her...come home...then go back get her, bring her back...etc. 

I pointed out to him that he was doing 80 minutes of driving so his 15-year-old could work for 120 minutes...and that made no logical sense. Her 8 bucks an hour barely covered the gas he was spending to cart her to and from work let alone his time. 

Also, him getting up that early made me wake up, too...which I wasn't a fan of. 

I lost that battle. Which is fine, really. I was only asked to be the one to drive a couple times...and I did...but wasn't happy about it. And DH started taking work or something to read and just staying at the bakery/coffee shop while SD worked or going to a different coffee shop nearby instead of coming home in between...because he did agree with me that it was a lot of driving for very little work time. 

About 15 months later YSD started driving and it was no longer an issue. 

 In your situation...if it's going to be a regular thing...I would simply refuse to drive. You weren't consulted...not your responsibility. 

STaround's picture

Will you have to arrange other care for your baby?   If it is easier or safer for you to take the SD and have MIL take care of baby, I would go with that. 

Thisisnotus's picture

Yes, I would arrange other care for the baby. If that is the decision MIL wants to make yet will probably be the final straw to baby going to daycare permanately.

At this point, the ONLY reason baby isn't already in daycare is b/c my DH pleaded his case to please keep baby with his mom....for now.

ESMOD's picture

I know it is not out of the ordinary for parents to help their kids get to their jobs when they are young/still in school.  Despite the fact that it probably is almost a break even proposition.. having a job outside the home can be a great way for kids to develope a good work ethic.. learn to take direction.. prioritize time.. learn to be more competent and interract with the general public.  The soft skills they learn are a great value.. and it can also keep them otherwise occupied and "out of trouble".  There is also the matter of getting the child to learn about money management and maybe saving for a vehicle or towards the future cost of a gas and insurance.

It isn't always possible to financially add another vehicle for the teen.  If you expect the teen to buy their own.. they need to have a means to earn that money.. and there are lots of places that are not well served by public transportation.. even UBER/Lyft may not be options in a lot of areas (like where I live.. even though I am only about 5 miles from civilization).

But.. note, I said parents... and while you are a STEP parent.. I don't think that the bio parents and child should naturally assume this is your responsibility without talking to you BEFORE the job is procured. 

Now, obviously, from the way you described this.. you would most likely be able to transport the girl for most of her needs without really going out of your way.   If she gets done earlier.. she can just wait for you to be done.  For the times you need to handle other errands (honestly.. you know it's not super often).. she may be able to find a coworker to help.. or her mom or dad will need to step up.  BUT.. this all should not be assumed.. you need to be asked... and you do have the right to say no..or set boundaries as to what you are and are not willing to do.

Now, you know that saying "no" would make you kind of the bad guy... sure, you have the right to deny her rides.. but it's likely she and your DH won't be happy about that.  So... it's up to you.. what you decide to do.

THEN AGAIN ... maybe the girl already has a ride situation?  Maybe a friend of hers also is going to work her same shift?  Maybe mom is buying her a car?  Maybe Mom is gonna do it?  Honestly... this would be something I might ask your husband about.

"Wow.. so great that SD has decided to get a job.. but she doesn't have her license.. do you know how she is planning to get there?" 

Make him answer.. see what he says.

Thisisnotus's picture

Good advice thanks!

As for a vehicle, there is plenty of money going around for someone to buy her one. Mostly, nobody expects the kids to buy their own.

Mom doesn't really let her ride in her friends cars very often, mom told her she bought her a car about 2 months ago and actually sent a picture of said car saying "ready for pick up" but that turned out to be BS and broke SD's wasn't never brought up again. (this is a regular occurance) Mom has spent the kids entire childhood depending on MIL to do everything, and she is no longer available to play taxi driver b/c she watches baby.

I guess my post is all based on history and what I fully intend to happen. lol

Also, I wouldn't really deny her rides....I would suck it up and take her like I always do and come here to vent and then spend the days full of resentment. haha

ESMOD's picture

Yeah.. I know.. lots of people will give that harsh advice.. "heck NO" etc.. but in reality.. we all know that we often do things to keep the peace in our homes.. even if we dont' really "want" too do them.. (and not all skid related..haha).

I don't think you would be out of line for point blank asking your DH how the girl is going to be expected to manage getting to the job.. If he has a solution that doesn't include you?  GREAT!

Thisisnotus's picture

driving her is a bigger hassle for me. I'm not home during the day as I'm at work so I wouldn't be around her much, and she is fine to be around, and I'll gladly hand over cash if it makes my life easier. lol

still learning's picture

I would support her in any way to encourage her to work and keep the job.  I'd also be having the conversation with DH about getting SD her liscense.  If my schedule allowed I'd happily pick her up or drop her off when I could.  She could also get on the same shift as friends who work there and carpool with them.  

The girl is being responsible and spreading her wings, help her fly!  

Thisisnotus's picture

I am all about her flying.....just keep in mind that I have 3 teens myself that I'm helping fly...and a baby and a full time job. I guess I'm just saying that SD's mother and father can help her fly....and at the end of the day it is not my responsiblilty.

BM will have to get the license...DH tried TWICE...the first time he had to cancel cause BM went bat shit crazy that she could not be there at DMV that day....the second time SD failed the test....and it's been several months now and nobody has mentioned a thing.

Plus, she majorly failed the test after going to driving school and doesn't really know how to drive.......and nobody is teaching her or letting her drive.

flmomma08's picture

Hmmm, I did get a job before I got my license but it was within walking distance of my house so this wasn't an issue.

It is definitely not your responsibility to get SD to and from work. I wouldn't mind helping out occasionally but I would not want to be committed to taking her every day. That is too much. I am like you, I don't want my life revolving around someone else's schedule.

DH and BM need to allow her to get her license or this is going to be a never-ending issue with her needing rides.

STaround's picture

Decides she would rather drive SD to the job than care for the baby, that is her choice too

Thisisnotus's picture

I am secretly hoping she chooses that so I can put baby in daycare!!!!! It will be a huge relief to me.

Aniki's picture

Then you have your solution.

The answer to YOU doing any driving for SD is NO.
If MIL decides she will drive SD, you put the baby in daycare.

flmomma08's picture

Yes, I would put the baby in daycare regardless but this would definitely be the final straw!

Thisisnotus's picture

Yeah it pretty much is an issue all the time. All of her freinds have their license and cars but BM doesn't want her riding with them so if she goes to a movie, somebody has to take her and pick her up.

She had a boyfriend for about a month....they would go on a date and mom or dad would drive her to the date and pick her up...because BM Said she can't ride with boyfriend.

BM has already told her that once she actually gets her license and car....she won't be able to drive alone in the car for at least a year. Yeah okay

SteppedOut's picture

Good freaking lord. I honestly feel bad for sd with an overbearing weird ass bm. How embarrassing for her to not even be allowed in friends cars. 

Thisisnotus's picture

yes, it is a really strange dynamic. On the flip, BM drives drunk with SD in the car all the time, but she can't ride with sober friends.

Makes perfect sense!

notsobad's picture

So how did SD get to this job for the interview? I mean she didn't get the job over the phone, she made it there and presumable home, so why can't she get herself there when she has to work?

My oldest got a job when he was 15 and while there was a bus route, it went out of the way and took him an hour on the bus to get there. It was about a 20 min walk from his school, so he walked there or rode his bike most days. If he was working after it got dark, I would go pick him up. Yes, it sucked but I was happy that he was working and didn't want him walking or riding his bike in the dark.

Swim_Mom's picture

It would mess with my workout schedule before I go to work. Nobody, not my kids, not DH, not my boss, interferes with my workout schedule, which is most mornings (5 or 6 days) per week, for at least the last 15 years or so. I had nannies when my kids were little, and youngest DD will take a bus to high school next year. Sorry but that is the only thing for *me* alone - I put my kids first always, but I need this (stress relief, fun, "runners high", just euphoria)! The idea of missing even 5 minutes of a workout for a s-kid is would never happen.

Thisisnotus's picture

If anyone is interested in an update....

Apparently BM told SD to get a job, and she told her that if she gets a job she will get her a car. So SD got a job......then asked mom about the car (you know that car BM already texted her a couple months ago saying she bought it, but just lied) and trying to figure out how she would get to and from. BM dismissed the car and went off yelling on how this is all DH's fault for divorcing her and how good SD's life could have been if DH didn't divorce her. BM doesn't have any financial struggles....she just likes the kids to think so and blame dad.

So then BM yells.....Do you think your stupid summer job is more important than my full time job that pays the bills around here.

So, if SD needs a ride to work I think I'm just going to help out when I can b/c now I feel bad for her cause her mom is mean.

SteppedOut's picture

"...because her mom is mean"

Let me fix that for you.

"...because her mom is mentally abusive"

ESMOD's picture

FFS... sounds just like something my DH's EX would pull with her girls.  She would yank them one way.. then throw them the other.  There were promises of cars and other baubles of success.. yet it always ended up that my DH would end up taking care of the big ticket items.


It's nice that you are willing to step up and try to help with transportation.. but... I think that you and your DH need to work out a plan and some boundaries going forward.. not just boundaries like she will be on time.. but a significant amount of the money that she earns needs to be squirreled away and saved towards true transportation independence for the girl.

Yeah.. BM should be part of this and contribute.. but she won't.. so you and your DH are better off without her interferance and chaos.

First.. decide what a reasonable contribution will be from your husband/your household towards a car for SD.  I don't know what your financial situation is.. don't know whether 1k.. or 5K is doable.  You can find vehicles in the 2500 to 6k range that are fairly safe and reliable.  They may not be as purty or sporty.. but they will do the A to B running around.  We told YSD that we would MATCH up to 1500 towards a vehicle.. so 3K if she took advantage of our full match.  In the end, a car was found for 1600 that lasted her about 2 years (until she could afford a small loan on her own)... so we put up 800.. and she put up 800 and also had to pay for her insurance.

Decide whether you will add her on your policy and what extra cost that is.. then you can present to SD the plan.  She will get rides for up to 3 months.. she must save 75% (or whatever  of her take home (give it to her dad).. and it will be put in an account with a 100% match from him up to X dollars.  Within 3 months.. he will help her find the car and then she will be responsible for paying insurance, taxes, tags etc...

Yeah.. that means that your household will be paying towards a car and BM likely won't.. but the goal will be to foster some responsibility and set goals for the girl.. hopefully it will result in her learning to be more independent in the future.