Parents--help please?


#1

Is it unreasonable for a father to have a rule that his kids must maintain at least a “B” average in order to drive a car?

Is this unreasonable? How would you handle it?

[not sure if this is the right forum]


#2

That is the rule in my house because of the insurance discount for good students…I’m not made of money…

BTW…18yo college son and another son to be 16 in Nov…rules are rules.


#3

I am purchasing a car for my daughter next year…and I think it will be great leverage for disciplinary action of a 16 yr. old…If grades slip, she breaks curfew, gets any type of ticket…I will take (My car that I am letting her borrow) back…and hopefully she will correct her actions in order for her to get the car back.

It might be harder to take a car that the child saved to buy on his own, is paying for his own insurance…that’s just me…feeling that fairness might be at issue.

I would also be flexible…maybe giving the child time to bring up his grades (since B is a high standard) My own 15 yr. old makes mostly straight A’s with an occasional B…but my 12 yr. old gets mostly B’s with an occasional A…once last year a C, and so keeping a B avg. might be too much to expect…she’s talented at other things but grades aren’t her strong suit…so the poor child might Never get a car by those standards…

I guess what I’m saying is that if your child easily maintains a B avg. already…you should expect that to continue…and I don’t think it is unreasonable to drop that standard just because he is driving…and you should set standards by the childs abilities


#4

[quote=TPJCatholic]Is it unreasonable for a father to have a rule that his kids must maintain at least a “B” average in order to drive a car?

Is this unreasonable? How would you handle it?

[not sure if this is the right forum]
[/quote]

I don’t think it’s unreasonable. My son is not old enough to drive a car yet but we insist that he maintains a “B” average in order to kept other priviledges (ie. playing games on his computer, xbox, etc).


#5

The child in question is a C student. The thing is, she is a very bright student and has lapsed into laziness regarding her school work. Driving a car is a hueg thing to her, so it would be of some value to entice her to raise her grades.


#6

You are the parent!

You are asking her to raise her grade ONE letter.

Life is full of requirements. As adults, we have all kinds of things we have to do in order to be found responsible enough to have special options.

You are just introducing this concept to her- using things she is familiar with.

Good for you!

:clapping:


#7

[quote=TPJCatholic]The child in question is a C student. The thing is, she is a very bright student and has lapsed into laziness regarding her school work. Driving a car is a hueg thing to her, so it would be of some value to entice her to raise her grades.
[/quote]

So…she just recently became a C student? I think I would tell her to bring her grades up is what she needs to do to obtain a car and to maintain her grades is what she needs to keep the car.

:smiley:


#8

lillith,

No, she has been a c student for about two years…though she used to be a B and A student. Frankly, her “c” level performance is due to a lousy work ethic, which is something that I feel I must address before it is codified into her brain. I care much more about her future, then I do about her driving in High School.


#9

Is there somewhere that it says we must be “above average” to attain rewards in life. grades are grades but life is life, there are tons of things I learned in school that do not apply to my life, and few things I learned in the schoolyard that do…for instance, share what you have, be kind to others, do on to others as you’d have done to you, hold hands when crossing the street, milk and cookies are always a good thing, take a nap when you can… my point is this, if she’s a good kid and doing what she’s suppose to be doing, kind to others, respectful to her parents.etc. isn’t that as important if not more than a B in algebra?? Oh and by the way I was a below average student in many classes and still ended up running a successful business, having well balanced lovely kids and a wonderful marriage. and yet sometimes I still have to count on my fingers. A very blessed life I’ve led so far.Thank goodness for calculators!!! Just my opinion of course


#10

Given the accident/death rate of young drivers, I think it’s arguable whether kids should have access to cars to drive to school at all. Maybe the ability to drive to work might be OK, but to look good in front of others? No way. Is she going to pay your increased insurance costs?

At any rate, this really isn’t the right forum for this. I think there’s a “Family Life” forum that would be a better fit for this question.

Try listening to Dr. Ray Guarandi (sp?) on Catholic Radio. I’m sure he’ll set you straight on what is reasonable or not—and this requirment of yours is not unreasonable.


#11

maryj,

I am glad things worked out well for you. However, insurance companies raise rates for poorer performing students because those kids are not as responsible as the higher performing students.

Is she a good kid? Yes.

Is she respectful? Yes, but only to a certain point, she sometimes show great disdain for any person of authority (nothing new there, she is a teenager).

Does she know and practice her faith? Yep.

Can she get A’s? Yep, you bet, she is a very smart kid.

Does she have a good work ethic? Nope, that is why she does not get A’s.

Now, here is another point. Her siblings work their backs off to get good grades, and they are rewarded with things like being able to drive. What does it say to them if I allow their sister to perform at a lesser level and still receive the same privileges? And, what message am I sending to my daughter about having a good work ethic? Plus, poor grades threaten college selections, etc…


#12

[quote=TPJCatholic]lillith,

No, she has been a c student for about two years…though she used to be a B and A student. Frankly, her “c” level performance is due to a lousy work ethic, which is something that I feel I must address before it is codified into her brain. I care much more about her future, then I do about her driving in High School.
[/quote]

This may give you some hope. I was an A and B student until my last couple of years in high school. I then got bored and it did not matter to me at the time. I graduated very low in my class, probably bottom quarter. However, I graduated with highest honors from my undergrad and went on to attend the 15th ranked law school in the country as those things did matter to me. Your child’s current grades may reflect boredom or lack of being challenged. You clearly need to talk to her, but it may not be as bad you think.


#13

[quote=TPJCatholic]maryj,

I am glad things worked out well for you. However, insurance companies raise rates for poorer performing students because those kids are not as responsible as the higher performing students.

Is she a good kid? Yes.

Is she respectful? Yes, but only to a certain point, she sometimes show great disdain for any person of authority (nothing new there, she is a teenager).

Does she know and practice her faith? Yep.

Can she get A’s? Yep, you bet, she is a very smart kid.

Does she have a good work ethic? Nope, that is why she does not get A’s.

Now, here is another point. Her siblings work their backs off to get good grades, and they are rewarded with things like being able to drive. What does it say to them if I allow their sister to perform at a lesser level and still receive the same privileges? And, what message am I sending to my daughter about having a good work ethic? Plus, poor grades threaten college selections, etc…
[/quote]

Oh what was the Gospel reading last Sunday… wasn’t it the parable that Jesus spoke of the workers in the vineyard. That those who worked from sun up to sundown where paid the same as those who started working an hour before quitting time!!! The Lord gives the same privileges to those…just a thought! I am not trying to change your mind, just putting some ideas out to think about. I will say this though, I am the youngest of 11 and the one thing that made me rebel the most was being compared to other siblings, for instance…your sister did blah, blah, blah, made me think well aint she great, I must be bad if I didn’t or couldn’t do blah,blah,blah. get my point.(my mother always told me I was a defender!!!) once again just my opinion of course…


#14

[quote=TPJCatholic]Is it unreasonable for a father to have a rule that his kids must maintain at least a “B” average in order to drive a car?

Is this unreasonable? How would you handle it?

[/quote]

That’s been the rule in our house because of the good student discount. I couldn’t afford the insurance for them otherwise.


#15

maryj,

Fear not, I asked for opinions, so I will not get upset with people being honest. :slight_smile: In fact, thank you for being honest with me.

Yes, I thought of that Gospel reading as well. Yet, we are not talking about adults working in a field, we are talking about kids that still need to be formed so that they become good sound adults.

I do not throw my other kids’ performance in my daughter’s face as proof as to why my daughter should perform better. She should be doing it for herself, and if not, then I feel as if I have a duty to make sure she understands that privileges are earned. My other kids have no say in this, yet I should try to act just. Say, for example, that my daugher simply did not have the capacity to get “B’s” or higher, then it would be unjust to hold her to such a standard. Yet, she is very smary and is more then likely bored and does not care to do the work. However, life is filled with work that is boring and yet it still has to be done. Changing diapers is not exactly exiciting, yet it has to be done…

I am more concerned about her low work ethic, then I am about her grades…the lesser grades are merely a reflection of her low work ethic.


#16

Here’s an idea that worked for me, maybe it’ll work for you too. I of course know about the good student discount, but when my daughter failed to perform and be on the honor roll she was responsible for the hike in insurance rates. spending" her"money on insurance was not something she was happy about, only had to happen once for her to realize that if she didn’t buck up she’d be living the “poor” life so on the honor roll we went. This rule still applies even in college.


#17

Happened to us.

I told my son all along that a B average had to be maintained but he didn’t make it.

I hated having to be in the position of sticking to my guns like that but when we went to the insurance agent to have him added on, our agent gave a whole schpiel to him directly - including watching a video about other teens who killed people because of poor decision making, and covering how premiums are set and the different breakdowns for them.

When he came to the part about how much my son’s insurance would cost now, without the B average, and how much it would cost with a B average, my son’s mouth dropped. He’s the one who insisted we not sign him up right now. He volunteered to wait another semester so that he can get the B average.

He did so because our position was he would have to pay for the difference himself if we put him on without the B average. And that difference was too big for a 17 year old kid to bring in on a part time job.


#18

Hi:
I would say you are being reasonable. Our 14 year old son must maintain an A average…okay, maybe I’d let a B slide, in order to be able to go on the computer for fun. I would certainly expect his grades to be good in order to drive a car.
joeysmom


#19

My personal opinion is that this sort of idea is really dangerous.

It can lead to kids not getting the right idea about grades and school. What basically happens is the kids go through their entire middle and high school career practicing earning good grades so they don’t get in trouble or so they can watch tv or drive or go on the computer or whatever. Then they get into college where that sortof quid pro quo just doesn’t exist and BAM. Complete disaster. The kids have no motivation to do well and they also have a newfound sense of freedom. It’s not hard to see where this leads. It’s also problematic because when you make grades a matter of parental authority, they tend to become one of those things that really suffers when the kids go through the all but inevitable rebellious stage. This stage usually happens just at the right time to make the grades hurt the kid’s college chances. This is especially true for kids raised in good Christian homes. These kids aren’t gonna go off and sneak out at night or go get drunk. However, it is natural to rebel so they’ll end up rebelling even more in the minor ways, like by not putting enough into school.

On the other hand, when a kid goes through school and learns on his or her own the value of hard work and of getting good grades, those values carry over to college. I have seen it time and time again. Of all the people I know who do/did poorly in college, it as almost always those whose parents had strict rules about grades that totally bombed. The kids that just got good grades because they developed their own sense of pride about the issue got As and Bs.

It’s the same idea as learning the value of a dollar. You can’t really force that on the kid. He’s just not gonna get it until he blows all his money on candy and then realizes he’d rather have the Super Hydro Man or whatever.

Of course this is hardly universal. It’s entirely possible for a kid to both have strict rules and develop a personal sense of the importance of grades. That being said, it’s a lot harder to develop a personal sense of the importance of school when you are having someone else’s sense of it forced on you with strict rules and punishments. At a certain age (early middle school… grades 5, 6, 7, maybe 8) this is necessary. Most 6th graders need that external encouragement. But once you get into upper middle and high school, I really think this idea is very counterproductive.


#20

lazerlike,

You make a lot of good points. Yet, I think you are fogetting that a car is a dangerous weapon when it is in the hands of an irreponsible driver and kids who do not get good grades have been shown to not be as responsible as those who do.

If I felt totally comfortable with the “punishment” route, then I would not have posted this thread…yet I do feel that driving is a privelege and not a right. I am still not sure what I will do, many good points have been raised on this thread…I need to pray about this before deciding. I sort of like the idea of making my daughter pay the difference for the higher insurance…


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