I was talking a reporter (one of many today and over the weekend) and he was asking if I thought there was any common threads among several recent incidents or if there was something in common that could be used in prevention.
He was not so much thinking of the 16 and 17 year old girls who died in a crash in the middle of the day on Saturday, but more of the 15 year old who died in a crash at 3:45 am. That 15 year old was in a car driven by a 14 year who was quite intoxicated. There have also been some other cases of death or injury in the region that occurred late at night, or early in the morning, depending on your perspective, that beg the question are “we” doing something wrong or not doing something right.
I told him that they should be at the very least wake-up calls for people to pay attention to what is happening to their kids or kids close to their kids. I told him I re-evaluated (again) curfew and other issues pertaining to my teen. I also discussed with him my feeling that at the root of at least some of this is that we parents make mistakes of commission and omission. Parents try too often to be their kids’ friend instead of their parent and are therefore too lenient and put fewer restrictions on them then they really ought.
Teens still need control and direction, even if it means you have a shouting match or 2. While they may seem pretty mature, their brains really aren’t developed to that point When stressed or when peers are around or something else happens their “second guessing” or reconsidering fails. They don’t think a second time through something to realize that it really isn’t a good choice or a good idea. They plunge ahead, often making wrong choices and taking chances to their detriment.
That’s what goes through my head when these things happen in my county or I read about them elsewhere. I hope that we can stop the next one.