Saturday, October 4, 2014

Taking Orders ... Impaired Driving

Recently, I obeyed a direct order from my teenage son.

I do not, as a general policy, believe that parents should take orders from their children. It is supposed to be the other way around. So, maybe I should explain.

It was actually the first day of high school in our homeschool. We progressed quite well through academics and I planned on cooking a special meal for the evening. I took a nap to try, unsuccessfully, to rid myself of a headache and then went downstairs. I got my shopping bags and keys. My son asked me what I was doing. I told him I was going grocery shopping for his treat.

He looked at me and said, "Bed. Now." ........and I climbed obediently back up the stairs and into bed.

Later I was a bit chagrined at myself for simply doing as I was I told. Then I thought about it. I believe it was a good thing that I did just that. Why? Here are a few reasons:

That headache was debilitating. My driving would have been impaired. I could have harmed myself or someone else or worse. I did not belong on the road and apparently my judgment was impaired enough that I didn't realize it. So, it's a good thing that someone stopped me from getting behind the wheel, regardless of the fact that the someone was 36 years my junior and in my care besides.

It set an example for Jordan. Someday, for whatever reason, he may be impaired and wanting to drive. If someone tries to stop him, in that moment he just might remember that his mother accepted the fact that she could not drive when she was told not to. Stranger things have happened.

It empowered Jordan. He learned that it works when you tell an impaired person not to drive. If I had disciplined him for speaking up, that might have given him a different message and someday when the driver he is with is drunk, or distracted, or exhausted, he might  keep quiet. We don't want that.

I still maintain that teenagers do not get to order their parents about or set the house rules. But there are moments ...

Your thoughts?


  1. You have taught your son well. I'm glad to hear he is not afraid to speak up. Even better, his mother listened to him. I hope you're fully recovered by now.

  2. Definitely recovered. It was a one-day siege.

  3. I agree with you. Granting children the respect they deserve as adults will empower them to make the right decisions when the need arises. Especially in the case of drunk driving, it's important for children to realize and identify the risks involved, and deter any situation that might lead up to it. When we allow them to speak up for what they think is right, we allow them to become bolder when standing up for something they believe in.

    Leticia Holt @ Law Offices of Kim E. Hunter

  4. Thank you. Children do deserve respect and empowerment.