Advice

Judge Jay-Jay delivers her verdict on parenting an adult

More FM radio diva Jay-Jay Feeney delivers her verdict on your biggest dilemmas

Parenting an adult

Hi Jay-Jay,
I have an 18-year-old son who lives at home and we have just helped him buy his first car. He, his dad (my ex) and I paid a third each. The car is in my name and under my insurance.
He is currently on his learner's licence, but I have just discovered that he's been driving the car on his own! His dad says that since he is 18, he is not my problem or my responsibility any more.
Should we as parents still be parenting him in this and handing out punishment, such as taking the keys off him? Or jacking the car up and taking all the wheels off? Or should I listen to my ex?
Anonymous, via email
Kia ora, Anonymous!
Parenting is tough. Especially in a situation like this. Your son is a grown adult, but he is not acting appropriately. Here's my take on it: If your son still lives at home, and you and your ex own two-thirds of the car, and you are responsible for it since the insurance is under your name, then you have every right to "parent" your son on this matter.
If he wants to be treated with respect, he must show respect back and driving illegally puts all of you at risk, especially if he has an accident or, God forbid, hurts or kills someone. The insurance won't pay out if he's driving on his learner's licence.
Tell your son this: While you and his father own a third each, and the car is under your name and insurance, then he must drive it legally and with care. If he doesn't comply, sell the car and give him back his share of the money. And then buy him a bus card!
All my love, Jay-Jay
A problem shared is a problem halved! Send your sticky situations to Jay-Jay – email wdaynz@aremedia.co.nz.