“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Jun 7, 2014
DEAR AMY: Our 17-year-old daughter would like to get her driver's license.

Her father and I told her several months ago that we would insist that she obtain all 60 hours of practice driving time (including 10 hours of night driving) that our state requires before she could take the driver's test.

We also stated that for her to actually drive, she would need to get a C- or better in all of her classes.

Now she is telling us we are unreasonable, crazy parents for requiring these things. She feels it is ridiculous to tie driving to grades (she is failing two of her classes) and that because she thinks night driving is "easier" than driving during daylight hours, she shouldn't have to complete those before she is allowed to take the test. Her older sister didn't present these issues to us when she was a young driver.

Are we being unreasonable? She reads your column most mornings before heading to school, so she may be curious to read your take on the matter.-- Responsible Mom

DEAR MOM: I am 100 percent behind your effort to produce a safe driver. Your daughter's insistence that night driving is "easier," for instance, is a perfect example of how much she has to learn.

As someone who might also be driving alongside (hopefully not into) your young, inexperienced driver, I appreciate your choice to insist that she be a more seasoned driver before taking the test.

Plus, it is the law in your state. This makes it nonnegotiable.

In terms of your choice to link driving to her performance in school, driving (and using the car) should be linked to all sorts of things, including grades. It is a privilege, not a right, and it is important for a teen to demonstrate the ability to work toward a goal and achieve it.

Is your daughter working to the very limits of her ability? I hope so. If not, my only question is why you expect so little of her: A C- doesn't set a high standard.

DEAR AMY: I normally do not read your column, as I am fortunate not to be facing many of the life circumstances you address. However, I was interested in your response to "Worried," a woman who wrote about her gambling boyfriend.

My father was a compulsive gambler, and having grown up with that behavior as part of our household fabric, I well recognize the symptoms in what was written about the boyfriend's behavior. Your advice to the writer was sound: Do not co-sign a lease, do not give him any more money, etc.

I would also suggest that another potential source of support for this young woman, assuming she is going to stay with this boyfriend, is to go to Gam-Anon, the support group for Gamblers Anonymous. This will help her understand whether her boyfriend is simply a poor money manager or has a more serious problem. It can also help her determine whether she is enabling his gambling without being aware of it.-- Annette Dunlap, author of "The Gambler's Daughter: A Personal and Social History"

DEAR ANNETTE: Thank you for the recommendation. Although the man described in this letter was apparently spending a lot of money on "scratch off" tickets, I agree this is foolish, possibly compulsive and definitely a form of gambling.

I hope "Worried" follows your advice to seek the support of Gam-Anon. Information on local meetings can be found on the group's website

DEAR AMY: I hope you can stand yet more feedback on your response to "Sad Sister," the sanctimonious woman who participated in annual outings with another sister and other female relatives but excluded one sister.

While I was shocked that you would describe anyone as "horrible," I have to say I agree with you. As a sibling from a similar family dynamic, I assure you that it is horrible.-- Bullied Sibling

DEAR BULLIED: Hearing from hundreds of people who have been excluded and bullied by family members has been an eye-opener for me.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#2 Jun 7, 2014
1- It's. The. Law. What is your problem exactly? Congrats on raising an entitled child. C-? Really?

2- Gamanon? Come on

3- Thanks for your opinion
boundary painter

Waco, TX

#3 Jun 7, 2014
LW1 and her husband are doing the right thing and should keep holding their ground.

Not interested in LW2's book.

LW3 vented nicely enough.

Hancock, NY

#4 Jun 7, 2014
1: I agree with edog. Has your daughter really made you wonder about your decision to obey the law? Perhaps she would do well in advertising or public relations or politics. I wouldn't want her to be my representative of course but she must be good at convincing others that her viewpoint is correct. I also question your only expecting Cs but then maybe your daughter has some kind of learning disability and that's all she's capable of even when giving her studies her full attention. I made my kids wait a year after receiving their permits before getting their licenses. I made them drive whenever we went someplace as a family just so they'd have the practice. I also took them out for one-on-one practice in various driving situations - dirt roads to super highways at various times of day and night so they'd have actual practice. It wasn't until my last child was learning to drive that NY passed a law stating how much practice, etc. a young driver had to have to take the driving test to get their license. I looked at the requirements and thought, "Well at least they're making the requirements better but they're still not as stringent as mine." I wouldn't give in on my requirements because I value my children's lives and felt responsible for anyone they might hurt in an accident. I don't think I was wrong and you should hold to your stated requirements or make them even more stringent considering your daughter's ignorance and stubborn nature.

3: So does that mean that someone who occasionally buys a lottery ticket or buys just one but on a regular basis is addicted to gambling? Uh oh.

Hancock, NY

#5 Jun 7, 2014
Whoops, my "3" should have been "2."

Salinas, CA

#6 Jun 7, 2014
LW1: You are not being unreasonable to follow the law in your state for openers. Please do everything you can to ensure that your daughter takes driving seriously. As far as night driving goes, the other night a pedestrian in dark clothes ran across the street in front of my car. Fortunately, I saw her and was driving slowly enough to safely stop. Now as to her failing two classes, she is 17 and you should have addressed her poor grades long before now. With a poor education, she will be working minimum wage jobs and will not be able to afford gas, much less a car of her own. You might want to point that out to her. And stop comparing her to her older sister.

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