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…
I would personally disagree with the idea of punishment based on grades (at least for older kids) unless they were absolutely terrible, like all Ds or something. So I would say to this that if one looks at one’s child and he is irresponsible, then don’t let him drive, whether he gets good grades or not. If he is responsible with school but not with other things, he shouldn’t be driving. Similarly, if he is not responsible with school but is with other things, I’d say let him drive. Or maybe some synthesis between the two ideas. In other words, if a parent let their kid go for quite a while with no punishment for bad grades, then I don’t think deciding to make driving contingent on them would be a problem.
That’s my idea of how I would handle it anyways. You have to apply your best judgement to your specific situation.
(also I think we have to remember that there are always exceptions… for instance there are some teachers for whom one could devote their entire life and still only manage a C. And if your kid’s dog died well then he probably should get some sort of slack. You know what I mean)