The responsibility of parenting

A group in North Dakota is seeking to start a graduated drivers’ license in our state. (The article is here: in the Fargo Forum.) And although it is being discussed with good intentions, I’m a little leery as to the consequences that may come up.

Now, I agree that I’m not real excited about the prospect of having teens that are too young to make responsible decisions to legally be behind the wheel, driving a death machine in the middle of a winter blizzard. But on the other hand, I know plenty of adults that I don’t want to see behind the wheel either!

From the viewpoint of a farm family that lives about 15 miles from town, having another licensed driver in the house will be a great benefit for us. Even though I dread going through the whole permit/licensing process, I know that when the time comes for my sons to get their licenses, I will be comfortable with their driving abilities before that appointment is made.

Why should the state be stepping in where a parent should be? At what point are we going to just turn child-rearing over to the state altogether?

Now, before I get a million messages about those parents that don’t take an active involvement in their child’s upbringing, don’t care about what the child does or with whom, etc., etc. Let me say that I get that. I understand the concern. But yet, at some point in time we need to take responsibility for our children and actually be a parent.

Is a year-long permit process going to actually force those parents to all of a sudden become responsible? Are restrictions and regulations the answer to the teen-driving concerns? Or are we just increasing the burden on law-enforcement and those that actually follow the law?

I know the reasoning behind the requested change, but I’m doubting the outcome. And although it will be a few years before this law change would have any impact on my life, as a parent I know I need to be involved.

Imagine that.