A Driver’s License Story about Responsibility

After using the Raise Responsibility System in their home, a family had an amazing incident with their 15-year-old son. Here is the story in the mother’s own words:

We live on a very large piece of property and my husband was preparing our son for driving by allowing him to drive the firewood truck from one area to another under guidance and supervision. He would also allow our son to move our vehicles around in the driveway. The expectation was always the same: This was a privilege and only possible when my husband was in the vehicle. One day while we were at work, our son decided to drive the car up and down the driveway on his own. The neighbors reported this to us when we arrived home. We were very disappointed, and my husband grounded our son for two weeks.

That night my son came to me and said, “Mom, I thought we didn’t handle things in this way anymore. Being grounded has nothing to do with driving and I won’t learn anything from it. I think that instead of being grounded, I shouldn’t be allowed to get my learner’s permit on my birthday; I should have to wait an extra month. I was not being responsible about driving, and the consequence should be related to that.”

I told him that this was between him and his dad and that he would have to discuss it with his father.

That night they both agreed that my son’s plan was the more acceptable solution. His 16th birthday was five months away. When his birthday arrived, he did not mention his learner’s permit. Exactly one month later, he announced that it was time to go to the licensing office. The best part of this story is that he assumed full responsibility for his behavior. We did not have to suffer through two weeks of grounding, and he never drove the truck unattended again.