Should parents be responsible for their child's actions?

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There are some states that actually have laws transferring legal responsibility to parents when children break the law. The problem is that when a parent is charged with the child's crime, the defense is obvious. I did not do this, my child acted on his own. Hard to argue with that!
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If you are talking about legal responsibility where a parent can be fined or jailed if their child behaves badly, I think that this is a very bad idea.

The main reason for this is that there is not a direct correlation between how well a parent parents their child and how the child behaves.  Children who have great families and great parents can still end up doing stupid things that will get them in a great deal of trouble.  It is unreasonable to act as if parents have complete control over what their children do, particularly once their children are teens.

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