Copywriter Mom Uses Her Advertising Powers To Humiliate Son Via Classifieds


“He’s very, very unhappy.”

Here’s a perfect example of the power of the written word in advertising: Jane Hambleton’s splashy classified ad to sell her son’s car worked so well that now everyone knows she caught him with liquor in his car and sold it as punishment.

The ad said,

“Totally uncool parents who obviously don’t love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for 3 weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet.”

Hambleton told Good Morning America that she knew the ad would have to be different to stand out from the slew of other car classifieds. She told the Des Moines Register that she didn’t want people to think she was selling it because anything was wrong. We all know she really did it to show her son that she’s not to be messed with.

“The ad cost a fortune, but you know what? I’m telling people what happened here. I’m not just going to put the car for resale when there’s nothing wrong with it, except the driver made a dumb decision,” Hambleton said.

Steven Hambleton, a freshman business major at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, obviously was not one of the callers. And he didn’t feel much like talking when contacted Tuesday.

“I don’t think you can print” his response to the ad, his mother said. “He’s very, very unhappy.”

Oh well, he got to appear on Good Morning America. That’s like YouTube for boomers.

“‘Meanest mom on the planet’ sells son’s car — after finding booze in it” [Des Moines Register]

“‘Mean Mom’ Gives Son Public Lesson on Drinking” [ABC] (includes video interview)
“‘Mean Mom’ Sells Son’s Car After Misdeed” [Associated Press]
(Photo: Good Morning America)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    Hopefully he won’t go out drinking and driving just to spite her.

  2. Hawk07 says:

    Hey, it might work! That teacher who found his son smoking pot in the backyard with his 15 year old friends sold his Guitar Hero 3 game on ebay for like $9,000+ dollars.

  3. cde says:


  4. cde says:

    Oh, and YAH! Comment Preview!

  5. darkened says:

    And i hope parents that think this is responsible parenting….. i better not finish that threat lest i get charged with terroristic threats.

    When will parents get it through their heads, PEOPLE USE DRUGS. Instead of trying to punish them for perfectly normal behavior maybe they should be more concerned about informing them to do it responsibly.

    I hope karma pays these parents 10 fold that do this to their kids. Not to mention they’re most likely hypocrites that did drugs at that age in the first place.

    (Alcohol is a drug before some says this wasn’t over drugs.)

  6. pengie says:

    @darkened: Not to argue, but I wouldn’t consider underage drinking “normal” behavior. Yep, kids do it, but the mom had a rule: no alcohol in the car. She found it, so she took action, and I don’t see what’s so wrong with that.

    The kid (or the friend who left the alcohol) may keep drinking, but he certainly won’t be stupid enough to keep alcohol in his car anymore. It’s blissful ignorance on the mom’s part, and it doesn’t strike at the heart of the matter, but he broke a rule and now he has to deal with the consequences.

  7. RvLeshrac says:


    That’s crap.

    Selling the kid’s car because he had a bottle of wine in his room? That’s harsh.

    Selling the kid’s car because he had a bottle of liquor IN THE CAR? Not a problem.

    He’s a freshman, which implies that he obtained the alcohol illegally. The liquor is in the car, which implies that he may have been considering drinking and driving.

    How do you know what they did or did not discuss? Perhaps his parents warned him of this. Perhaps they set up terms and conditions. They bought the car, not him. They own the car. They can do whatever they want with the car.

    Perhaps you’d be happier if he’d gotten wasted and taken out a family of four?

  8. emilymarion333 says:


    This is also on digg and she said she had two rules when he drove the car and 1 was no booze in the car. This has nothing to do with drugs! It has to do with him being disrespectful and not following his mother’s rules while driving her car..

  9. evslin says:

    @darkened: Did you read the article?

  10. shan6 says:

    The last thing I want to see is some kid (or anybody for that matter) driving next to me while sipping on their pint of Canadian Club on US 131. Go Mom, I hope that kid doesn’t see a single dime from the car’s profit either.

  11. SVreader says:

    Here’s the thing…now when prospective employers put his name in a search engine, this is what will most likely come up. Yes, the ad is funny, and she probably didn’t think it would be so popular, but is pubically humiliating your kid the best way to go about something?

  12. Schlarg says:

    Hey kid, buy your own car. You’re a freshman in college.

  13. quagmire0 says:

    The punishment definitely fit the crime. For every person who says ‘that’s terrible, the kid should be given a break’ there’s someone who’s been killed by a drunk driver. It’s a very serious thing.

  14. SVreader says:

    @svreader: Er…publically. Worst typo ever?

  15. SVreader says:

    @quagmire0: Drunk drivers should rot in hell, but I wonder if he was just hiding it there on a visit home, knowing she would search his room? He shouldn’t have had it anyways, as he was underage, but I think his mom’s solution was a bit short-sighted in the internet age.

  16. CumaeanSibyl says:


    1) She bought the car, she makes the rules.

    2) Having an open container in your car is a real good way to get arrested.

    3) He may have been drinking and driving, which is a real good way to kill somebody.

    What does this all add up to? She doesn’t owe him jack shit. Maybe, if she’s feeling generous, she can use some of the money she got from selling the car and buy him a nice bus pass.

  17. pengie says:

    @svreader: You have a good point there. I guess the kid will just have to hope that he finds potential employers who don’t find the story, or have enough faith in him to believe that he learned his lesson. I think he wouldn’t have appeared on national television if he wasn’t enjoying the publicity at least a little bit, though. Or something.

    Also, pubic humiliation is not something I don’t think anybody should experience. Ever.

  18. Coder4Life says:

    You guys really need to post the story up much faster… This is old news, from yesterday or 2 days ago or something.

    But yes it happened in Iowa, and I live in Iowa… So this is our 1 min. of fame since the caucuses are now over…

  19. shan6 says:

    Did the kid himself go on Good Morning America? If so, internet humiliation shouldn’t be much of a hit to him.

  20. pengie says:

    @pengie: I mean “is something I think no one should experience.” Wow.

  21. humphrmi says:

    @darkened: Sorry, but most kids don’t have the concept of responsibility down at this age. They may act responsibly, but that doesn’t mean that they necessarily understand the consequences of acting irresponsibly with alcohol and drugs.

    I know this. My parents divorced, I was the responsible “man of the house” when I was a teenager. My Mom had the same attitude you do. I hung out with friends who’s parents had the same attitude you do (hey, it was the seventies, there were a lot of hippie parents back then.) After I hit bottom and managed to live, the next order of business – while I was rebuilding my life – was attending a lot of friends funerals.

    Sorry but the hippie “Everyone does drugs, just do it responsibly” argument died in the 1980’s. Children can’t handle the responsibility of drugs and alcohol. They impair their ability to remain responsible.

    Bravo to this mom, who drew a line and stuck with it.

  22. Jean Naimard says:

    If ‘mercans weren’s so assininely stupid WRT drinking, stupid things like that wouldn’t happen. If you hide booze from kids, OF COURSE they gonna want some!!!

    I’m french, and when I was 12, my parents said nothing at all when I boozed-up real good for once. The ensuing hangover made sure I never boozed-up again in the more than 30 years that have elapsed since.

  23. smitty1123 says:

    Working and buying your own car ftw.

  24. shan6 says:

    @Jean Naimard: French parents letting their French kids get drunk in France, really doesn’t have anything to do with how this woman punished her son.

  25. junkmail says:

    @Jean Naimard: Sorry, sounds to me like you’re STILL twelve.

  26. SVreader says:

    @pengie: I think we both need the weekend to be here!

  27. sled_dog says:

    Selling the car would be punishment enough. Airing this out in public and humiliating the son (now on national TV) is going too far.

    And we wonder why our kids snap and go on a shooting rampage.

  28. DrGirlfriend says:

    I just wanted to say that Oh well, he got to appear on Good Morning America. That’s like YouTube for boomers. is funny because it’s true. So so true.

  29. matt1978 says:

    @sled_dog: That is one the dumbest things posted on this site. Don’t be a moron.

  30. pengie says:

    @svreader: That or an edit option! :)

  31. catskyfire says:

    People may use drugs, and alcohol, but that isn’t “perfectly normal behavior.” Perfectly normal behavior would be, oh, playing music in the car. Drugs and alcohol are not legal substances in this case (the youth was 19, 2 years underage to have it, even it was still sealed.)

    A good parent DOES take action on these issues. Fights over hairstyle and clothing are often unnecessary. But taking a stand over drugs and underage drinking? That is when we DO need parents to be parents.

    Imagine, incidentally, if the person to find the alcohol had been a policeman. It wouldn’t matter if the drink was belonged to a passenger, the kid would be the one nailed with Minor in Possession.

  32. theblackdog says:

    That bitch stole my mom’s title!

  33. B says:

    @smitty1123: Not drinking and driving FTW

  34. catskyfire says:

    @Jean Naimard:
    You’re lucky you didn’t have some major damage. Getting ‘boozed up’ when you’re still developing and growing could have really caused some problems.

    At the same time, I do agree that parents should show how to drink responsibility and offer the children the chance to learn appropriately. A glass of wine at dinner (perhaps watered, depending on the child’s age) is acceptable. Three bourbon and cokes and a bag of chips is not.

  35. Starfury says:

    Lets see. He’s 19 which is underage for drinking BUT this also means he’s an adult and responsible for himself. His Mom bought the car so I’m assuming that she holds title AND pays for the insurance. She probably also pays for him to go to school while he lives at home.

    From what I can see he broke the one rule she set for him to have a car. If he doesn’t like the rules he can move his behind out and take care of himself. It doesn’t matter if the alcohol wasn’t his: he should NEVER have allowed it in the car in the first place.

    If my kids did something like this: I’d sell the car too.

  36. banmojo says:

    Kudos to this mom for being a real mom. That’s tough love, and we need more of it in this world spiraling out of control. KUDOS!!!

  37. esthermofet says:

    If the car was in her name, she’s within her rights to sell it out from under him.

    I, however, likely would have called the police… then sold the car.

    “Sorry, Jr., obviously my parenting wasn’t enough for you — welcome to adulthood. These gentlemen have some nice bracelets for you.”

  38. MelL says:

    @esthermofet: So giving your child a criminal record is your idea of a good thing?

  39. ClayS says:

    I think the story is just a ploy to sell the car at a higher price.

  40. ManicPanic says:

    @catskyfire: Yeah, this happened to some kids in my high school way back when and they all got hit with it because they were all underage and there was a bottle of booze in the car. It was one of theirs and I think one of them had been drinking but it affected them all.

  41. ManicPanic says:

    @catskyfire: And that was in regards to your imagine a policeman finding it comment, not the growth-stunting one!

  42. ManicPanic says:

    PS My mom would have HIT me with the car if this had been me. Then she might have even shifted it into reverse and done it again just to make sure I got the point :-)

  43. Skiffer says:

    Let’s also not forget that while he’s at college, he is still considered a dependent – and so the mother has every right to whatever parenting methods she deems fit (barring actual abuse, obviously).

    I don’t think we have any right to criticize her parenting at all.

    But damn – this is one of the best classifieds I’ve ever seen – way to go!

    (Granted, the excessive media exposure may be pushing it a bit…)

  44. AcidReign says:

        Mom buys the car, mom makes the rules. Freshman rides the bus for a while.

        Publishing the kid’s dirty laundry in the classifieds, not cool. Might be time to move out and provide for himself…

  45. topgun says:

    @RvLeshrac: Geez, I hope you’re not able to reproduce.

  46. FLConsumer says:

    Gotta love the puritanical society we live in.

    If the guy’s drinking in the car, that’s definitely unacceptable, esp. he ever gets pulled over and has an open bottle in the car.

    BUT…who cares if he’s drinking or not? He’s 19 years old for God’s sake! I would hope that he has had MANY drinks by this age.

    I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the US has the highest drinking age out of the western countries and also has the highest rates of alcoholism and DUIs. My parents raised me with alcohol readily and freely accessible. Because of that, I tried quite a few things, most by age 14, and really didn’t care for it all that much. Dinner was always served (or ordered at a restaurant) with a glass of wine for as long as I can remember.

    Now I probably only have 1-2 drinks a week and that’s it. Never have had the urge to binge-drink, nor drink to get drunk. I don’t think I’ve ever actually been drunk. Alcohol wasn’t a forbidden fruit in my house, so I didn’t share the same desires to obtain it when I was in high school and college. Didn’t this country learn anything from Prohibition?

  47. esthermofet says:

    @mell: I’m not giving him a criminal record — it was his choice to have the booze in the car. If the guy wants to be an adult, he’ll need deal with responsibilities and consequences.

  48. esthermofet says:

    @mell: Guess I ducked the actual question. So let’s put it this way: Encouraging your kids to be responsible adults is a good thing. Oh, you’re an adult now? Remember all of those lessons and discussions about being a responsible adult… or else? Welcome to adulthood.

    So, again, while I’m not the one giving him a criminal record (he chose to do that on his own), I still think it’s a good thing.

  49. MelL says:

    @esthermofet: If you call the police, the record is coming at your behest. We’re not talking a traffic stop, we’re talking you actually calling the police to the location to see what is there. So now you’ve just sabotaged his future because now he has an alcohol related offense on his criminal record. Nice way to set him up for the future.

  50. humphrmi says:

    @FLConsumer: I find it hard to belive that the US has the highest rate of alcoholism, given that it’s not even in the top 20 countries of per-capita alcohol consumption.


    Oh and DUI rates? Good statistic. So the US enforces better. Doesn’t sound like a problem to me.

    Great to hear that your anecdotal evidence of having no alcohol restrictions in your house didn’t lead you to become an alcoholic. You represent about 1% of the population, congratulations. Which has nothing whatsoever to do with this article. Did you keep a bottle of booze in your mom’s car?

  51. humphrmi says:

    @mell: He’s 19. He set up his own future.

  52. JiminyChristmas says:

    @FLConsumer: I’m with you, and also had a similar experience growing up. As with my siblings and cousins, once you were in your early teens you were allowed to drink at home with the family. In our later teens, most of us proceeded to drink outside of family supervision. However, unlike my parents’ and grandparents’ generations, none of us have had drinking problems or DUI arrests.

    As for the case at hand: Yes, drinking and driving is unacceptable. Also, the parents are well within their rights as far as selling the car though the virtual public flogging is a little over the top.

    That said, the OMG, 19 is underage and drinking is illegal!!! crowd needs to get some perspective. The 21-year-old drinking age is an outlier in the Western world. Europe ranges from 16 to 18. In Canada it’s 19. So, relatively speaking, it’s the US laws that are abnormal, not the phenomenon of ‘underage’ drinking.

    Personally, I think cars are more the problem than alcohol. If you live somewhere with a tradition of neighborhood pubs, or have the option of taking the train or subway downtown to go to clubs then drunk driving isn’t an issue. If you’re living the typical American suburban existence you’re going to be driving somewhere if you have a social life.

  53. MelL says:

    @humphrmi: No. If you call the police, *you* set him up for failure in the future. An alcohol-related criminal offense is no trivial matter. You don’t set someone up that way to make a point. That’s how you wreck a future.

  54. esthermofet says:

    @mell: Setting him up for his future was what the first 18 years were for. Now the choices are his.

  55. mikelotus says:

    @Schlarg: agree

    @catskyfire: he’s not a child, he is 19. The legal age when I was 19 was 18. And in Texas where I was in college, it was legal to drink and drive. Yes, times change, but lets not go overboard on what occurred here.

    @esthermofet: Guess you don’t care if your kid hates your guts? You might when you are very old and come looking for help and they spit on you.

    @Skiffer: Considered a dependent by whom? Not the law, that is for sure.

  56. Shadowfire says:

    Best. Mom. Ever.

  57. MelL says:

    @esthermofet: So you have no problem with raising a child and setting them up for the future, then turning right around and sabotaging that future? You could end the matter with taking away the car. But to set him up for a criminal record is simply taking it too far. Remember, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

  58. UpsetPanda says:

    @mikelotus: If she pays for his college, he lives in her house, he eats her food, and he is in all respects, dependent on her to have a home and a living, yes, he is a dependent. Being of legal age has nothing to do with it. Any person who lives with you for a year or more and is supported by you at least 50 percent can be put down in taxes as a dependent.

  59. SaraAB87 says:

    My mother allowed me to be exposed to the things that drinking causes people to do and what happens when too much alcohol gets into the body so since then I have never had a desire to drink because I have seen the consequences and I saw them when I was very young. It helps that I have a history of alcoholism in my family too. I don’t oppose people who drink I just choose not to drink it myself for a variety of reasons. You really shouldn’t hide kids from these things because they may just learn from it. Sheltering them only increases the desire to try it.

  60. whatdoitypeh says:

    Well hold on. Why are we jumping to the conclusion that he is drinking and driving?

    I’m not defending the teen, or attacking the mom. I think she did the right thing. but unless I’m missing something, there’s no indication that he was necessarily drinking and driving. He could have been hiding it in the car because it could be a better hiding spot than his room, for example.

    Again, not defending anyone. Just asking why we concluded that he’s definitely driving under the influence.

  61. emax4 says:

    Although I agree that the Mom did the right thing, she has to remember that her kid will choose her nursing home, charges pending for abuse to patients or not. Let the punishment fit the crime.

  62. says:

    Good for the mom. She wouldn’t be selling it if she didn’t own it and pay insurance on it, and she shouldn’t have to put up with the car’s driver breaking her guidelines. A college student doesn’t *need* a car.

  63. MelL says: Well, *some* college students don’t need cars. :)

  64. FLConsumer says:

    @JiminyChristmas: Let’s not forget that anyone in the US military’s allowed to drink at age 18 as well as long as they’re on military property.

    @humphrmi: The US law enforcement of DUI is laughable at best. Want to really catch a lot of DUIs? Do a DUI checkpoint outside of an NFL stadium as the game’s letting out. The UK police have pulled such stunts amid large amounts of public outcry.

    Let’s do a little comparison:
    Legal Limit:
    Florida: 0.08
    UK: 0.04

    Penalty for first DUI:
    Florida: Fine of $250-$500, car taken away for 10 days, 50 hrs community service.

    UK: Fine up to £5,000, up to 6 months imprisonment, Mandatory suspension of driver’s license for AT LEAST 12 months.

  65. UpsetPanda says:

    @emax4: If the kid is trivial enough to harbor anger and hatred 40+ years from now to place his mother in a crap nursing home on purpose, he has more problems than just losing out on a car in college. Not having a mode of personal transportation (you know, aside from legs) isn’t the end of the world. If you worked and had no access to buses, subway systems, sure I get how it would be a problem.

  66. XianZomby says:

    @darkened: Perhaps this was a lesson to “do it responsibly.” Because, see, the alcohol was found in the car. So he wasn’t doing “the drug” “responsibly.” So mom took the car away. See the connection?

  67. XianZomby says:

    @CumaeanSibyl: “Maybe, if she’s feeling generous, she can use some of the money she got from selling the car and buy him a nice bus pass.”

    You’ll be an awesome parent one day. :)

  68. swalve says:

    @svreader: Sometimes it is. People learn lessons when it hurts a little. This mythical future employer can ask the kid about it, and then the kid can say “hey, yeah, I learned my lesson.” Or he can piss and moan about how life is mistreating him and what the world owes him.

    Good for the mom.

  69. swalve says:

    @mell: She’d be wrong calling the cops, but not because of “the consequences”. Calling the cops shows that mom can’t handle the situation and that she’s ceding authority to the police.

    Here’s a little secret to all you folks out there- there is no permanent record. Nobody cares about stupid shit people did when they were young and stupid. And if they do care, you don’t want to be around them anyway.

    What about college scholarships, you might say? Too bad. Teaching your kid that lying and hiding the truth if the consequences are big is the worst lesson you can teach a kid. Tell him your kid that’s what he gets for making bad decisions and that he best unfuck himself and fix his problems and then offer all the help you can ethically give.

  70. humphrmi says:

    @FLConsumer: Heh, that’s some pretty creative editing to prove your point:


    You left off the up to one year imprisonment, first conviction, in Florida.

    Also, whether it’s stated on their law books or not, under federal statute all states must confiscate and provide administrative suspension for DUI. If Florida isn’t doing that yet, they will have to soon enough if they want to keep their road funds coming in.

    And yes, Florida has quite possibly one of the weakest DUI laws in the US (barely meeting the US standard); however most states are far more aggressive with drunk drivers than these standards, requiring higher fines and longer suspensions.

  71. Bryan Price says:

    Of course, nobody thinks about the fact that his mother probably doesn’t have her name on the title (at 19 I’m guessing not), so the threat is probably a threat only.

    Yes, I’m a killjoy.

  72. luna1701 says:

    I’m just amazed at how all-over-the-place these comments are. What does that say about living in America (or the world) in 2008? On one hand, I applaud the Mom for living her convictions and hope the kid learns a very important lesson for life. On the other, I understand this publicity could follow him his entire life and a common teenage mistake could impair him for life. In the end, best he learns there are rules everywhere and hope he will appreciate her strength and love for him overall.

  73. FLConsumer says:

    @humphrmi: I omitted it because a quick flip through the most recent judgements of DUI cases in Lexis-Nexis shows 0 jail time for first offenders, just community service, rehab, etc.

  74. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Hey kid..if you’re going to booze it up in the car…buy your own car AND insurance. If the kid thinks the car is expensive, wait until he gets his first premium for a single 19-year old make driver.

    Plus the kid is an absolute moron for leaving the booze under the front seat. If it was actually left by a friend, then maybe he needs to get some new friends.

  75. Amy Alkon says:

    @Jean Naimard:

    I’m french, and when I was 12, my parents said nothing at all when I boozed-up real good for once. The ensuing hangover made sure I never boozed-up again in the more than 30 years that have elapsed since.

    I think this is why you don’t see drinking problems in France like you do in the USA. My parents treated me similarly — offering me a bit of wine or alcohol when my father was drinking some. Since it wasn’t forbidden, it had no interest for me. At 15, I wanted to see what it was like to get drunk, and I figured I’d do it at a wedding since my parents would be there to take me home or deal with it if something bad happened. I threw up on the way home, my dad laughed at me, and I’m about the only person I know who didn’t drink during college. In fact, I only started drinking wine with dinner at 27. And in moderation.

    Addiction treatment specialists like Stanton Peele, who aren’t AA robots, recommend this approach.

  76. swalve says:

    @Amy Alkon: No offense and all, but the definition of alcoholism includes not being responsible with ones drinking. Congratulations on not being a drunk. Just because you did it doesn’t mean everyone can. The path to substance abuse varies from person to person, but the fact is that it happens to some people. I hate the AA drones too, but it’s more complicated than ones parents letting you get a hangover when you were 15. Plenty of drunks could tell the same story, but with different results. True alcoholism has very little to nothing to do with rebellion.

  77. Parting says:

    Pleaase, he’s 19, he can go get killed in Irak, but he cannot drink.
    Oh the hypocrisy in USA… (I am against drinking and driving, but considering 19 year old as underage?)

    On the other hand, his mom is the one paying, she has the right to do what she sees as best.

  78. misslisa says:

    What is more lame, that he got publicly humiliated with his mom’s ad – or that he’s 19 and still lives with Mommy who had to buy him his car! I vote for the latter. By the time I was 18, I was already living on my own, working, putting myself thru college, and paying cash for my very own car. That I drank in, bwahhaha!! (Yep, in Texas back in the day, you could drink at 18 and it was legal to do so while driving.)

  79. wellfleet says:

    A few things…

    1. My parents always let us have a sip of whatever they were drinking. The result was that alcohol never became this mystical, magical product that would make my brother and I cool. At 27, I have drink socially less than once a month while my friends get faced nightly.

    2. Booze in the car can quickly turn into booze at the wheel. A family member was allowed to keep his car and license following an arrest for drunk driving with only legal bills as a consequence. Two years later, this same family member, now in grad school, repeated this behavior. This time, he put his face through his windshield, nearly lost his ear, and could have killed his passenger.

    3. Kids need to know with 100% certainty what the outcome of their actions will be every time. If you waffle, kids will pick and choose which consequence to respond to. If this kid now knows that his mom will 100% ruin his life if he does something stupid, then he can make informed choices.

  80. bookling says:

    @darkened: Instead of trying to punish them for perfectly normal behavior maybe they should be more concerned about informing them to do it responsibly.

    Drinking and driving is not “perfectly normal behavior”, nor responsible drinking, and I’d say that taking the kid’s car away is a pretty good way to teach him not to drink and drive.

  81. RvLeshrac says:


    I know plenty of people here in the US whose parents have ‘taught’ them a similar lesson.

    Parents should allow their children to drink *supervised*, since it, as wellfleet said, takes the “magic” out of getting drunk. This is why parents are encouraged to actually *talk* to kids about drugs and sex – and this is why “abstinence” and “just say no” programs *have never worked*.

    Telling a kid that something is “just for adults” or is “forbidden” is just encouraging them to find out what all the fuss is about. “Just for grown-ups” makes them think “Well, I’m pretty grown up!”, and take it as a challenge. They don’t hear “just for grown-ups,” they hear “you’re not grown up until you…”


    Yup, and the way to encourage people to be responsible? That’s right, show them what happens when you aren’t responsible. Get your kid wasted when they’re 15 or 16 – in your own home, where you can supervise them – don’t give them enough to kill them – and the ensuing hangover and vomiting will be enough to keep them from drinking heavily for quite a long time. Peach Brandy would work well – goes down smooth as silk and you can drink a bottle or two without dying – though you might want to.

  82. Trai_Dep says:

    …Like the finger-waggers here never drank alcohol, or had friends that drank alcohol, when they were NINETEEN.

    The hypocrisy boggles.

    Mom’s car, Mom’s rules, no argument. But the people whining about “kids” drinking (I guess alcohol was less powerful back in their day than it is today) make me shake my head and chuckle.

  83. night_sky says:

    I agree that the mother should have consequences for her kid’s misbehavior. Taking the car away was an appropriate response. However, publicly humiliating him is not something that should be done to any child or adult. A child, even in later adulthood, who is publicly humiliated can have severe consequences in his or her life later on. When this is done to children at an early age (2-6), it can lead to severe behavioral issues both in their childhood and later life. Even though this kid is not a young child, there can still be a lasting effect from public humiliation.

    I suggest some of you read a little into developmental psychology.

  84. thalia says:

    Way to go, Mom. Your son is going to remember this incident and resent you for the rest of his life. Literally. No, he will not grow up and one day look back on this and say, “Wow Mom, I understand what you did by publicly humiliating me to our whole town and I’m glad you did it.” No, he’s going to look back and say, “Mom, you were a f*cking b*tch. No, I don’t want to come home for Thanksgiving, and no, you can’t meet my wife and kids.”

    She should have talked WITH (not to) her son about the incident before resorting to public humiliation. The next time he’s faced with making a choice, he won’t hesitate to choose the wrong one to spite his mom, because this time he has nothing to lose.

  85. rockergal says:

    I agree with the posters who drank when they were younger.
    I am from Belgium, booze has always been available to me.
    It was never seen as “the forbidden fruit” so to me it never was anything I HAD to have. I am now 27 and living in the USA, and the only times I have any alcohol in my house is for my 4th of July party, and New Years Party. My husband was raised the same way and we just don’t have a thirst for alcohol.

    I do applaud the mom for sticking to her guns, and enforces her own rules and threats.

    PS anyone find ironic that a pimple-faced 16 year old can drive a vehicle (a very dangerous tool), a 18 year old can serve and die for their country, but you have to be 21 to have a glass of wine???

  86. vanilla-fro says:

    @darkened: you are an idiot. “people use drugs” “normal behavior” I hope you don’t have kids that you will be telling how to responsibly shoot up.

    They told him not to drink and to lock the car. the car was unlocked with a bottle of booze under the front seat.

    The kid is an idiot and broke the rules, it wasn’t really “his” car anyway.

  87. vanilla-fro says:

    @catskyfire: thank you!

    and to all those worried about this kid’s future employers (should there be any) that criminal record would be a bit worse.

  88. neithernor says:

    @darkened: Uh, she bought him the car, she makes the rules. If he wants to drink and drive, he can buy his own car.

    @nursethalia: You really think talking to him would have worked when he knew the ground rules to begin with? Do you know any 16-year-old boys?

  89. vanilla-fro says:

    @Bryan Price: bet she does. she bought it.

  90. DashTheHand says:

    I hope some local business buys the car, and then destroys it on the news in front of the kid. I’d laugh.

  91. cobaltthorium says:

    And the son hates the mom even more … moves out. Mom misses her son, regrets acting childish, and vainly tries to get back into the life of an (understandable) bitter son. Nobody wins. I know because the same thing happened with me (minus public humiliation).

  92. Squeezer99 says:

    anyone see the lady on TV. damn she’s fat

  93. junkmail says:

    @RvLeshrac: If you’ll notice, I didn’t disagree with the sentiments involved, merely the vernacular used to express them.

  94. 00exmachina says:

    @rockergal: That’s not entirely true. It’s legal to drink on military bases at 19 if you are in the military.

  95. guymandude says:

    This is going to totally backfire on her. I certainly don’t condone drinking and driving but I don’t think this is going to turn out the way mom thinks. Unless mom is some kind of vestal virgin Jr is going to be looking for some payback. So I hope mom isn’t into anything actionable. Jr may have learned his lesson so well that the boys in blue may have reason to pay her a visit instead. What could she say in reply to that?

  96. guymandude says:

    @vanilla-fro: Seeking an intoxicated state is so normal that animals other than humans routinely seek out such a state. Please feel free to look it up.

  97. dodonnell says:

    If it was mom’s car that he was using on her terms and he violated those terms, I have scant sympathy for him: he knew what he was doing, or what he let someone else do, and losing the car is paying the price for his irresponsibility. Publicly humiliating him is a bit extreme IMO, but none of us here are part of the family, have any history with them, or have any basis for deciding why she did it.

    Many of the rest of the comments to date seem (to me) to be little more than justification for baggage the posters can’t seem to let go; or for positions they think are “right” and somehow feel entitled to try to pass off as being correct for everyone else, too. Passing off opinion as fact only undermines your tenuous grasp on authority.

  98. Instigator says:

    @darkened: Let’s see how understanding you’d be if the little shit got impaired behind the wheel from the booze he’d stashed under the seat and plowed into your car. Assuming you’d survive, it’s awful damn hard composing comments on Consumerist by blinking your eyes at the specially equipped computer screen.

  99. night_sky says:

    @dodonnell: What I said about her taking the car away was my opinion, however, what I said regarding public humiliation is not. It is based on solid evidence conducted by psychologists. I can try to grab up some peer reviewed journals for you if you wish.

  100. strathmeyer says:

    I can only assume all of the people making fun of darkened are also bad parents?

  101. hypebreaker says:

    Personally, I think this Mom can add “marketing genius” to her resume. It was a shrewd move and since she’s the PARENT, she was well within her right to reprimand her kid for violating the terms of the contract. If the kid gets humiliated in the process, then so be it. He has no one to blame but himself – it’s not like he didn’t know the rules beforehand. Better he endure a little humiliation than a manslaughter trial or DUI (though he claims he was merely hiding the bottle for a friend, anyone who can drive a car should know that a bottle of booze rolling around under the driver’s seat can still land you a stint in the clink). It’s unfortunate that, judging from a few of the commenters’ criticism of Mom, teaching your children valuable lessons and imparting crucial knowledge about the consequences of their actions has somehow become politically incorrect. Team Mom!

  102. Karunamon says:

    There are plenty of ways that she could have “imparted crucial knowledge about the consequences of his actions” without needlessly humiliating him.

    Depending on how soon this incident gets the guy in question (he’s not a kid. he’s 19. he’s a legal adult) moved out, the bitterness over this could stay with him for a long time. The mom just probably ruined her relationship with her son permanently in order to make a point.

    Yeah. Go mom, indeed.

  103. hypebreaker says:

    @The Great TK:

    Spoken like a true enabler…

    Shame and humiliation that result as consequences to illegal or questionable behavior are effective deterrents to future bad behavior (unless, of course, you are Paris Hilton).

    Was it “needless” in this case? Don’t think so.

    See, there’s this little concept called “personal responsibility” and while it’s on the verge of extinction in our current culture, this Mom thought her dependent son needed to take some. Somehow, I doubt very much that her kid (and yes, regardless of his age or legal status, he is still her kid) is so emotionally challenged that he won’t mature beyond holding a grudge against his Mom for making what was clearly an important, valid and much-needed point.

  104. ELC says:

    How silly, many people DON’T use drugs – alcoholic or not. Their is no “responsible” use for most of this stuff. It isn’t something your body needs, and you can live w/o it – I have for 35 years. Never tried, never wanted to – and imagine the 1000s of $$s I’ve saved over the years, and will continue to save.

    This is intelligent as “they are going to have sex at the age of 10, we need to make it safe and give the condoms – the most safe and effective way to do anything.” And they keep saying that as teenage pregnancy rises, teenage rape rises, etc, etc…

  105. mikelotus says:

    @misslisa: things have changed a lot since 1920 though.

  106. mikelotus says:

    @ericole: given your comment, it is best that you don’t use anything mind altering. linear thinking means you are a republican of course.

  107. RvLeshrac says:


    Teenage pregnancy has only risen since the government started only providing funds for abstinence-only sex ed programs.

    Funny how that works.

  108. Wolfbird says:

    Love hurts, eh?

    If I catch my kids being braindead like that, they’d be losing more than their daddy-bought-me-this car. This kid got off lucky!