How do you explain to your college freshman daughter (FD) you do understand her trepidation, her frustration and even her anger, but you still aren't changing your answer? I beg you, readers, please, help me find the magic which shows her I get it, but the answer is NO!
The issue at the heart of this and several other heated dinner table discussions is the same. ONE SINGLE ONGOING TUG-A-WAR that consistently includes the same dialog.
FD- "I need my car at school. You really don't understand the struggle."
Me- "I know you like having your car, but we don't think a car your freshman year is a good idea."
FD- "I can't take care of myself because I can't even go to the store."
Me- "What about the store on campus?"
FD- "They don't sell fresh fruits and vegetables, I am trying to eat healthy, and all they sell is junk.
All my friends have cars."
Me- "So you can go to the store when they go, just offer to pay for some of the gas."
FD- "You just don't get it! You never get it!"
What I want to say at this point is, "Oh, I get it! I get that I have taken all your points, and you're mad you didn't win." But, then I remember, she's far from home and feeling tethered to a campus ten hours from home, and she just wants a little more of home with her. I get it!
I do, but I don't feel safe having her driving around so far away at such a young age. She's a freshman. We believe the more time she spends on campus getting to know the school and the people the better! We have stood fast and hard, no car freshman year. I guess the prior weaknesses of our parenting have taught her to keep pushing, but this time, we aren't caving, we haven't caved! She has only six more weeks of her freshman year, and we have compromised, next year, her sophomore year, she will be allowed to take her car.
I was surprised to discover as I typed my slice our reason for not having a car is mostly an emotional one. A reason I am sure our FD won't be able to understand until her child goes off to school ten hours away. But, for the meantime she is safe, we followed our heart, we supported her, and she is a better person for our decision.
Note- Rest assured, She's eating! She looks like the picture of health!