Ask Paul B! “There’s Been an Accident”

Dear Paul B,

My sister tells me that you are an “outlet” for some hidden problems. I have not discussed the experience I am about to tell you for seven years, and I know that I will feel better once I do. My daughter had just gotten her license and she was driving for about 7 weeks. She seemed to be driving safely with me and my wife (at the time.) The neighbors thought differently. Two people on the street had mentioned that once she got away from our house, she would “tear ass,” as one of them put it. Another neighbor told me that he had motioned Ally to slow down and she just smiled at him and sped up. He said that she was too young to drive and that I needed to talk to her about it. They were concerned more for their families, with kids running back and forth. I should have taken heed of those tell tale signs. Ally was always a good student and very popular, but she saw driving as her chance to let loose and have fun, I guess. I didn’t want to over react, and my wife said that I would be too hard on her, and that once she got a speeding ticket, she would learn then. We never had that talk. That neglect, I now live with every day of my life. When we got that call a week later at 1:38 in the morning, I knew before I even answered the phone. “There’s been an accident.” Please, Paul B, share this with your readers. Our lives were changed forever.

Dan

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Dear Dan,

I do know your sister for a long time, and I remember when she mentioned this tragic ordeal to me. Your sister was there for you and I am here for you now. I am a Dad, and I am “old school” all the way. I do not
cotton to kids that are “owed a fairyland life.” Driving is a privilege and if they screw up, there are significant consequences. Parents are just total wimps today, and their kids will “feel the pain” when they grow up. Teachers, managers/bosses, spouses, etc. will NOT TOLERATE their tantrums or their “you owe me” attitudes. There must be accountability, responsibility, and the notion that we “MUSTGIVE them everything” is a recipe for disaster. Theses “kids” must demonstrate that they have earned these privileges, right?

Paul B.

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