So I'm practicing "disengagement" right now. This morning, high school senior SS17 tells me his bike tire is flat and can he have a ride to school? It's 7:45am, school starts at 8:00. DH at work totally unreachable, even if there was time. SS17 lets it slip that last night on his way home the tire was so low he didn't think he'd make it home, but he did. Immediately I recognized his standard manipulative m.o.: wait until it's too late for any other option, then ask for a ride from the person who knows you'd rather skip school & get high instead but really wants you to be at school.
Some background: we got SS17 a car over a year ago (last Summer), when he was 16. A sweet little sporty 6-cylinder our friends gave us and we fixed up... stupidly hoping this would inspire SS17 to stop getting high, get a job so he could pay his own insurance & gas (we're not going to pay for those, ever, plus we know if he's not mature enough to get himself through that process he's not mature enough to be entrusted with the driving privilege), maybe even get better grades for the insurance discount, and experience the awesome freedom of being a licensed, insured driver with a sweet car.
So lazy con artist SS goes on to say he thought to walk his bike to a gas station to fill the tire, but then he'd be late for school (as if he's really concerned about his attendance record). I confirmed I would take SS to school & that he should bring his skateboard so he'd have a way to get home. As we pulled out of the driveway, I said "Your car is looking dusty & neglected," because it's sitting there undriven because there's still no drivers license, still no studying the test, still no end to the laziness & preference for getting high is still running strong. I also repeated twice that he needed to take care of the bike tire right after school.
Now it's 9:30pm, DH is asleep. SS arrived home, ate, went to his room. Tire still flat. I'm planning to wait until SS asks me for a ride in the morning before I let him know he can ride his skateboard or walk his bike to the gas station. Aside from laziness, one reason I don't think he'll be willing to do that is because he's broke. Had a job, but instead of saving to be able to pay for car insurance, all that money has likely gone "up in smoke" literally and figuratively.
So no matter what, SS isn't getting a ride from me tomorrow. He might call BM to take him, but she's even lazier than he is so unknown if she'll do it (if she even answers his call). Either way. After that, I'll let DH know that SS17 needs to fix his own tire instead of spending 5+ hours after school with his drug buddies getting high & forgetting they need to grow up and handle LIFE.
It's petty but a big step for me to not remind him to handle it, and to not ask my DH to handle it or help SS. DH tried to call SS today but no answer, straight to voice mail. No longer am I "doing for" SS what he shouls be doing for himself.