Hit n’ Run

Hit n’ Run

Warning: The following post is a tirade.

As my daughter is walking out to her car, she watches as another teen drives his car into the back of it. R picks up her pace a bit to get to the car and grab insurance information. The damage isn’t that bad, but definitely not how she wants the car to look when she brings it home.

And, that’s when it happens…

The other driver, turns his headlights off and speeds away.

Hitting the car is an accident. Accidents can happen to anyone. But, taking off and avoiding responsibility is something that is taught.

In our accident scenario, the driver’s default mode in a panic situation was to protect themselves – at the cost of someone else.

At this point, I’ll ask you a question: What would your child do? Please understand I’m not asking what you would want your child to do. I’m asking – knowing your son or daughter as you do – what do you think they would do?

Take off or own up?

As teens, they are certainly coming to the point (and some of them are there) where they are legally responsible for their own actions. But, still, we as parents, have taught them right from wrong. We’re sure supposed to.

The cold hard reality is that kids learn from their parents first – then their outward environment. If you believe that your teen would be the one to own up to the mistake, then I believe you have been a strong “successful” parent – and they’re likely going to do well in this world.

On the other hand, if you think there’s a chance your son or daughter would take off, I think there’s a chance stronger parenting could have occurred.

Yes, I believe even as a teenager, poor judgement and shoddy integrity is something that has been directly handed down from parents. With soft role models, kids make soft choices.

Have you ever blurred the lines in front of your kids? Have you ever told a white lie? …kept the extra change accidentally given to you? …snuck a candy snack from the grocery? …did that thing “just for a minute” even thought it’s wrong?

Are you still doing those things?

Shhhh…. they’re watching.

…and they’re mimicking.

Is it poor parenting?

It’s always my default to lean into parental responsibility, and my experience is with a parent that didn’t take any, but what if there’s something else to blame here.

Or at very least, an additional culprit.

To the Internet!

… or because of the Internet?

We hear all these stories about kids saying super nasty things behind a computer screen. We know that people act different in front of others than they do with anonymity.

Our teens have grown up with access to forum comments from a very young age. They have seen the awful way people can treat each other when they don’t have to take responsibility, because it’s not face to face.

This has moved to Facebook, where your picture and name are linked to the comments, and yet, behind a closed door, miles away, we see people behaving like monsters. Sometimes, even in the same town.

How about Twitter, where you don’t even need a moment to think about it. You just type your 240 character rant, insult, or degradation and move about your day. Ahhh… that felt better, right? No one is hurt by a few little characters.

Has this anonymity given way to the engrained behavior from our accident scenario?

Did the keyboard life help shape the “Nobody saw it; I didn’t do it” view?

As a parent, have you tried to curb the behavior? Have you looked at your child’s Facebook feeds… or are your “friends” with them and assume you’re seeing everything?

Is your teen the cursing, vulgar, troll that posts inappropriate and out right outlandish comments to well meaning posts?

What do you do if they are?

The flip side: shaming.

And, of course, there’s always another side to the coin.

Is it moronically acceptable to use Facebook to flush the hit and run driver out?

They live in the same town. We know the car and the license plate. It’s only a matter of time before someone – or many – use the shame of getting caught to get the kid to do the right thing.

I’ve read the articles about people who’ve told a joke to their friends, then someone who overheard it posted it on the Internet resulting in backlash from a guy talking to his buddy. I’ve seen the idiots that dig up Facebook posts from five years ago to try and hurt someone. I know about the woman that sent a stupid Tweet before a flight and by the time she landed had been fired and shamed into not leaving her house for over a month.

I’m horrified that people will propagate other’s missteps to the point where a person’s life is ruined. As if we have never made a mistake ourselves.

If a man sees the sins of others and forever thinks of their faults, his own sins increase forever and far off is he from the end of his faults.

But, paying for the damage this kid caused isn’t ruining his life. It’s holding him accountable for it.

…or am I just focussing on his faults?

A lesson, or two, or none.

It’s been a few days and with the minimal amount of damage to our car, I’m actually concerned the kid will get away with it.

If that is case, what lesson is learned?

Does the other driver learn that shirking responsibility is the way to go?

Does my daughter learn that shirking responsibility is the way to go? Have all those years of insisting on integrity been lost?

Do you let the Police do their job and accept the outcome even if it isn’t just? Is there a lesson even in that?

At the beginning of this article, I asked you to consider what you think your kid would do. Make sure it’s what they will do.

I want to say it’s only a car, but I have this weird feeling that “taking off” is becoming the norm.

Shaking my head,


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