When two moms go head to head over how to discipline kids, you know it’s gonna get ugly. This story posted by u/SafeTaro on r/AmItheA–hole, though, might be the most clear-cut example of one mom being totally wrong and freaking out because maybe deep down, she knows it.
“AITA for not apologizing and causing my daughter to lose one of her few friends?” the OP asked in the title.
She explained that her 12-year-old daughter struggles with making friends, but last year she befriended a girl named Danielle. The OP had some reservations, like Danielle seems bossy and cares a lot about popularity. But it was mostly fine, and soon OP had an arrangement with Danielle’s mom that she’d drive the girls and Danielle’s 14-year-old brother in the afternoon home from school.
At first it went well and the girls loved it. But one constant struggle was getting Danielle and her brother to wear their seat belts. This is a no argument situation for me, kid or adult, you’re wearing a seatbelt. I lost a friend in high school and it all could’ve been prevented had she worn it. The kids constantly complained and would take them off. I talked to their mom and she kind of shrugged it off. Eventually, they got a little better about not arguing about it but still wouldn’t do it on their own.
Then, things got bad a couple of weeks before her post on AITA. The OP stopped with the kids on the way home at the post office and when she came back out, Danielle and her brother had taken their seatbelts off. Again.
I told them to put them back on. They refused. I said I wasn’t driving until they put them on. They still refused. I called their mother, she didn’t answer. Called their father, he didn’t answer. Finally, I just followed through on my threat and sat there until they finally put them on. It took 45 minutes. The whole time, my daughter kept begging me to just drive but I refused.
After she dropped them off, the OP got a call from the kids’ mom. She was super angry because her son was late for a soccer game:
I said he wouldn’t have been if he just wore his seatbelt. She told me I’m not their mom, so I don’t get to control them. I said if they’re in my car, they follow my rules. It all ended with us agreeing to stop the carpool arrangement, which I was fine with. We finished the school year driving our own kids to school.
However, now Danielle’s mom says they can’t talk until I apologize to Danielle and her brother. I refuse. I did nothing wrong. My daughter is upset because Danielle is one of her few friends. My husband thinks I should fake an apology so our daughter can keep her friend. I don’t think it’s worth it. I’m not setting an example that they can do whatever at my house and I won’t say anything. My daughter is hurt and furious, currently not speaking with me.
This is tough because her daughter is pretty young and definitely appreciates her cool friend more than car safety. But the commenters are firmly on the OP’s side because she’s totally right that it is a safety issue. Not only can you get killed in an accident, but you could also easily kill the people around you who are wearing seatbelts because your body becomes a flying projectile:
One day, the OP’s daughter might appreciate why her mom had to law down the seatbelt law. One day. For now, things might keep being awkward around the house and definitely in the car.