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Car for High School Graduation

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

All my daughter's friends are getting new cars for high school graduation. While we can afford to get her one as well, I feel like she should earn some of it by working part-time and saving her money. She keeps nagging me about this, and her father keeps saying it's up to me to decide. Would we be spoiling her to get her a new car?



Dear Unsure,

Just because a family can afford to buy something, doesn't mean that they should. You know your daughter better than anyone. Only you would know if it's best for her to earn the car rather than being given a car. How necessary is it for her to have a car? Is it to be like her friends? Or, does she need it to commute to college or work? Must she have a brand new car? How about a pre-owned (used) car?

In addition, there is more to owning a car. Just because a person is of legal driving age, doesn't mean they should be behind the wheel. Maturity level, responsibility, and common sense are needed as well. Topics such as not drinking and driving, having too many friends in the car, and curfew should also be discussed and agreed upon. Also, have you talked to your daughter about the cost, and who will be paying for, car insurance, gasoline, and maintenance?

You and your husband need to be united on this topic as well as any other topic that involves important decision- making for the family.