Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Driving Miss Spacey

Maturity: Coming Soon to a Mind Near You ~
If anyone else out there has a teen that's about to turn 16 or has already turned 16, then this post will resonate with you guys!  I have a daughter who turned 16 in October.  16 is the legal driving age here in Texas & as any other  mom out there will attest, it's sometimes really hard to believe that at this young age, it's time to hand over the car keys & allow your child to just take off & head for the highway!  The frontal lobe in the human brain isn't even fully formed until our 20's!  I looked "frontal lobe" maturity up on Wikipedia and here's what it says:
"The executive functions of the frontal lobes involve the ability to recognize future consequences resulting from current actions, to choose between good and bad actions (or better and best), override and suppress unacceptable social responses, and determine similarities and differences between things or events. Therefore, it is involved in higher mental functions."
So there you have it!! We are giving keys to large mechanical devices to our children who are not fully formed mentally yet!  Someone said that when you ask your teen, "What were you thinking?!"...they weren't! And it's no their fault...it's just the nature of the beast.  So it's our responsibility to protect them until they're ready to make safe decisions.  But how do you gauge just when that time has arrived when dealing with matters of life & death? 

So as I mentioned, my precious angel of a daughter, in the form of a teen, turned 16 a few months ago and really wants her license and a car.  And as much as I would love to have less running around on my plate, I'm super hesitant to turn her lose on the streets!  And I've not even touched on the dangers of texting while driving, driving at night, driving with multiple people in the car, drinking & driving, etc.  There are some pretty scary stats that I won't post here but I'll add a link for you in case you're interested:
So am I alone in thinking 16 is too young to have a license?  Or at least should we rethink giving them cars on their 16th birthdays?  Maybe let them drive with us for just a bit to make sure they're as safe as possible?  I don't know.  What do you guys think?

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