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Raising Kids On A Double Yellow Line

March 19, 2019

You’re studying for your driver’s test, right? What does it mean when you have two double yellow lines?

It means you can’t cross them.

Why not?

Because there might be cars coming from the other direction that you can’t see.

I’m nearly done raising kids. My youngest are twin 16 year olds. They haven’t started driving yet, but they want to. Out of my 13 four of them are still in high school, although eight of them are technically still teenagers.

My youngest chafe at the rules. Like many parents we have rules about cell phones and internet, curfews and schoolwork. Many of the rules we have are for our kids’ safety. But, they don’t see it that way. They see it as we are simply restricting them. I even had one child once tell me that we liked controlling them. (If he only knew.)

But, like I said, I’m nearly done. One of my kids has an issue with limits. Like most teenagers, he thinks he has all the answers. He thinks his parents are not all that smart. But, in this he’s not much different than my other children before him.

But, he wants to push those boundries and limits. My job is to keep him from making too many mistakes before his reasoning catches up with his emotions.

The problem with setting boundries is that people keep testing them. “Don’t stay out too late or something bad might happen.” And yet, the kid stays out late and nothing bad happens. So, was the warning wrong? Was the boundry artificial? Of course not.

You tell a kid not to drive too fast or they might get in an accident. And yet, they drive fast and nothing happens. Again, is the warning false? Is the boundry wrong? No.

I was thinking about the double yellow line. Why do we have double yellow lines? They are warnings, boundaries. And yet, there’s nothing about the lines that prevents us from crossing them. And we can cross the line with impunity many times. Possibly even most times. Does that mean the double yellow line is fake? That the boundary is false? Of course not.

All it takes is once. All it takes i one time staying out too late at the wrong kind of party. All it takes is one time of driving too fast and losing control. All it takes is one time of crossing the double yellow line on a blind corner or going over a hill.

And that’s the issue with trying to set limits for kids. It’s not every time they cross a line that the consequences happen. It’s not every time they cross the double yellow line that you get hit.

But, it only takes once.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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