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Help with parents...

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Benj77, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. Hey all. First off let me say that I wasn't sure if this thread belonged here or in off topic, but here goes.
    This is really hard for me to write, and really embarrassing for me to talk to about, but I need some sort of help.
    Early monday, I woke up, caught a train to Sydney, bought a motorbike and brought her home. Thats where the fun ends though. To say my parents weren't impressed is an enormous understatement. They never ever ever wanted me to ride a bike on the road, and when I arrived home they were so angry, disappointed and sad, all at the same time. Angry that I would go against their wishes and buy one, disappointed that I was willing to take such a risk in riding one on the road, and sad at the fact that I may die whilst riding it.
    They kept me home from yesterday, and made an appointment to see a psychiatrist. Im not sure, but I think they were just seeking a definitive answer to why I was acting the way I was, like that I was clinically depressed or something, but, surprise surprise, like the 4 doctors before have already told them, I wasn't, and it was just a total waste of time, and money.
    Now this morning when I went to ride to school, I started backing my bike out of the garage, and started her up. They came out, held the back of the bike, and dad ripped the keys out while I was trying to push my way past. Now they are hidden, and I don't think they ever intend to give them back.
    The main problem is that they think bikes are ridiculously dangerous, which, of course, in terms of statistics they are. Now I understand this, and that riding my bike is putting my life at considerably more danger than just driving a car, but it is a risk I am personally willing to take. But they don't see it like this, they think that if I ride on the road, I am guaranteed to end up a cripple or dead, and am just stupidly throwing my life away.
    Now I get that they just want to see me live, and that the only reason they care about it so much is that they love me to much to see me go. It is really terrible to see them this upset, and I really wish they weren't, but I do not want to get rid of the bike, it means too much to me. Its mine, my first vehicle, and my independence. Well, it would be if I had the keys.
    There is of course more to this than I care to write, or anyone cares to read, but what I'm trying to get at is I don't know what to do anymore. I don't want them to be upset, but I'm not selling the bike. I think they need to see that there is a safe side to riding, but I can't manage to let them see that. Moving out is currently looking like one of my only options.
    So what I'm asking is has anyone been through a similar situation with their parents/relatives? And if so how did you overcome it? Or just if anyone has any ideas for help they can provide, please let me know.
    From a rider in need.

  2. Showing them that you're taking the risk seriously can sometimes help:
    * Owning (and wearing) proper armour, in visible colours. ie: not all-black leathers with a black helmet and a black tinted visor, Ghostrider style. Boots, gloves, jacket, pants, helmet.
    * Signing up for rider training courses, etc, to show that you want to control the risk.

    Also, though a bit late for this one-
    * Owning a motorcycle that isn't obviously a sportsbike/race-replica. "But mum, it's just a nice, practical standard motorcycle. It's not as powerful as the racing ones, and handles city traffic better too!", I told my mother when describing my VTR250. All true, mind you, despite the VTR being quite sporty.

    Ultimately, yeah... Showing them that you're takin the risk seriously and doing everything in your power to control that risk. Perhaps see if they'll let you ride if you take a few rider training courses, etc.
  3. You may be surprised to learn that this comes up fairly regularly. :roll:

    Firstly yor profile says you're 17 (a minor)
    You live at home (their house and rules)
    How much did they know about this before hand?
    Are you a "responsable" person?
    Have you got all your safety gear and insurance?
    Is there a personal experience why the dont like bikes?

    I'm 44 and left home when I was 16 and I'm sure my mother still worries about me on the bike. I know my wife's father worries about my wife as he wont talk about my wife riding. So as parents that will never change.

    Could you be any more disrespectful than to go against their wishes while living in their house and enjoying the benifits of home? I dont think so.

    You need to negotiate and come to some compromise.

    Leave home if you must but that wont change the way they feel until you can convince them or demonstrate it's not as bad as they (ill informed) think it is.

    Good luck but I think you are doing this the wrong way.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Tough one mate, you are 17 and feel like a man but they still see the little kid who used to cry at night scared of the dark. Sounds like they have some issues with trust and this may or may not be justified. As you live under thier roof you do need to respect their rules and causing confrontation is probably not going to solve anything. I waited untill I was 38 before I got my first road bike, yes I was scared of hurting mum!

    Sorry mate no easy answers.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. My mum used to be the same, said if i ever brought a motorbike home, I would have to move out. Still don't have my bike yet, but I have managed to convince her that they aren't as bad as everyone thinks.
    I promised to always wear full protective gear, and have just started to purchase the leathers/helmet etc. My mum recently went on a trip to Italy where a huge % of the population actually ride bikes/scooters. Now that she's seen that she is actually quite approving of the bike, and has actually offered to help me pay for my gear, and help with the bike. A complete 180 from what she was like a year ago.

    Do you have full protective clothing to wear on the bike? Show them that you are taking as much precaution as possible when on the bike.
    Sit them down and talk to them about it. If they come back with the line "it's not you, it's the cars", tell them that most motorbike accidents are single vehicle.

    Good Luck
  6. My family would have freaked if i tried to get a bike when iwas younger... now that im 25 and much wiser, they dont have an issue at all.

    you tend to have the invincible gene when you are around 18 years old.. I can see why they would be worried

    in the end they are only trying to protect you..i would tread lightly :D
  7. Normally I say aren't you glad your parents love you so much, but this all sounds over the top. They're are supposed to talk to you, help you to make informed decisions and minimize the risk - perhaps arranging some advanced courses etc...

    Personally I'd sit down and have a long talk with them, maybe book in for an advanced (or lower) riding course on my own and reassure them that you are going to be as risk aware as you can be.

    If that didn't work I'd steal their car keys.
  8. So, did she recently take out an expensive life insurance policy under your name? :p
  9. As you have said, there is more to this situation than what is stated in your post. I dont think there are many ways around very protective parents, but the best thing you can do is try and get them involved. Get them to come with you to the store to buy the most protective stuff you can get, and see if there is additional safety courses you can do (I dont even know if thats a possibility) and ask them what it would take to satisfy them to let you ride.
    Maybe you might agree only to ride in daylight/no rain etc. You might also agree with them that you wont ride in any 'emotional' state.

    Im 27 and my parents have always been DEAD against motorbikes as I came off a bike when I was a baby and was hurt (pushbike - my brother was riding) and this somehow translated into motorbikes being bad. Im now getting a scooter and they're totally happy with that. They know im going to be mature about it, and get the best safety gear I can (also considering my circumstances)

    Maybe with age they'll ease up, or you'll just have to wait till you're a bit older to move out. I wish you the best of luck, and just remember your parents act like freaks out of concern :)
  10. I'm a wee bit suspicious that a history of psychiatrist visits indicates something more to this. Whether it's a reflection on the OP or the parents (or both), there is stuff here we're not being told.

    Regardless of that, like 2WA said, at 17 and living at home, you're their responsibility, living in their house. It's not unreasonable for them to expect some respect for their rules. You can't expect a good reaction to the way you've gone about this.

    It's actually about the same reaction as I got from at least one parent when I got my first bike, but I was living independently by then and had a severely dysfunctional relationship with the objecting parent anyway so I didn't have much to lose by presenting a fait accompli.

    Don't want to sound overly pessimistic but from a practical point of view I think you're probably sunk until you move out.
  11. It's odd how parents are when you get a bike. The parents of a friend of mine outright asked him, "Why are you trying to hurt me!?" when he got his.

    I'm not taking any sides, but your parents intentions are good, and you should really appreciate that. Let them know you appreciate that they care for you and want the best for you, as it looks like you really do care about them dearly. Unfortunately, meaning well and doing well don't often coincide completely. You may have assessed the risks, which is responsible, however they may have different views as to how much risks they feel comfortable with you taking. This doesn't necessarily mean they are right or you are wrong.

    Everything you've said in your post, you need to communicate to them, not in a stand off fashion, but in how you don't understand why they act the way they do and what you can do (happily) to make them feel more at ease. Try not to make it a conversation about how hurt you are, or how so-and-so's parents do x, y or z.

    It'll be hard, it won't happen overnight, but the key with any relationship is communication. Your parents and yourself are all intelligent human beings, the only thing lacking is understanding, which only comes from communication or related experience.

    Lastly, and I'm making an assumption here, it's so much harder when you're young. I first took an interest into motorcycles when I was probably about 20 and my parents, whilst not rejecting the idea completely, were obviously not approving. When I consider the things I've done in a car when I was 20, I'm not sure I would allow my own children to ride a motorcycle if I wasn't well aware of their level of maturity.

    I'm now 24 and don't have all the wisdom of the world, but when I bought a bike and my parents found out, they were accepting of it. I bought a lot of gear and went through it with my parents. I've possibly almost even convinced my dad to get a scooter and try it.

    Talk it through, be understanding, compromise. It all shows your level of maturity and reassures your parents. I know it feels like moving out is your only option, but if you must, I really urge you to leave on good terms. I didn't, I just took off one night, and it took many years before things healed over.

    All the best, just hang in there :]
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. hahah i went throught the exact same thing, eventually after about 1 year i got my way.. just pestered my dead for the full year, then one day i told him i was buying it and he just had a blank look on his face... now i ride :)
  13. Sell the bike and buy one of these:
    Then see if your parents still think a bike is more dangerous than a car ;).
  14. My dad says he has nothing against motorcycles, except when d1ckheads are riding them, and that's why he'd prefer I had a car. :LOL:
  15. Basically what all the above have said. However, judging from their reactions they are being somewhat over protective. Unless there's something you're not telling us I think a psychiatrist is a little over the top.
    Perhaps if you'd bought a Hyosung that might have been justified... :LOL:

    However I don't think that an Aprilia was possibly the best first step :wink:

    They don't see it as being a 125, they see (and hear) something that looks and sounds like a high-performance machine. In hindsight you may have done better with something else (even, dare I say it, a scooter) to break them in gently.

    Talk to them and ask them what their objections are, getting them to actually write them down when you aren't there will help. It takes some of the emotion out of it (on both sides) and stops arguments - then come back here with and list their objections. There's enough expertise here to help you dispel any myths they may have heard.

    Good luck.
  16. What's with the OP avatar?
  17. Hi Benj77,

    That's a tough one, but as some have already mentioned, you are 17 and living at home so it is kind of their rules.

    My mum doesn't like it either and I'm sure if I got a bike while still living at home she would have probably taken the keys away from me. When I tell her I ride she denies it, our conversation usually goes something like this:

    MUM: How did you get to work today?
    ME: Like I always do, I rode
    MUM: What?
    ME: My bike
    MUM: Ahhh, you rode on the back of Stealth's bike
    ME: No mum, my bike... he has one and so do I. Mine's the blue one, remember?
    MUM: Ahhh, but he drives it
    ME: Umm no, I ride my own bike and he rides his bike
    MUM: Ahhh, OK that's good you ride on his bike
    ME: :evil:
  18. :LOL: Your parents have been watching too much american TV.

    This is way over the top. I'm not going to be wishy-washy about it, I think your parents need to grow up and get a life. My mother has never liked me riding, but my parents were clue enough to know there wasn't much point in arguing too much.
  19. damn, dude! surely there is more to this story than what you have outlined? 4 prior shrinks?

    17 yrs old? you got medical coverage? insurance for the bike? how'd you accrue the funds to buy the bike? any left over for gear, insurance, rider training, etc?

    am i right in thinking that you got your L's without their knowledge as well?

    going by your post there seems to be a level of miscommunication or some sort of breakdown of the family dynamic between the olds and yourself for you to have to "sneak out" and get something of this magnitude without their consent.

    i know i'd be super pissed.

    it's as much about your attitude as it is theirs. don't totally discount what they have to say about how you should live your life especially at the age of 17.

    simply: it's there house, their rules.
  20. I can't make it out? Is it a guy in a go-kart or a bike on it's side? :?

    ....... or none of the above? :LOL: