Letter: Set high expectations for teens

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After a New York judge's ruling on emergency contraceptives, a local broadcaster said he can't control his teens' choices. He tries to shield his teens from the consequences instead.

Severing choices from consequences fails more often than, well, most contraceptives. This applies to matters of health, business, politics, crime, family relations and finances. Let's spend more time and energy teaching young people to make wise choices, rather than assuming they'll make dumb choices and shifting our efforts into cancelling the natural consequences.

I've heard it is better to put a fence at the top of the cliff than an ambulance at the bottom. Likewise, it is better to have solvency than bankruptcy; to have successful marriages than easy divorces; to have teens who value chastity, than to have teens who "need" emergency contraceptives. Teens who learn to control these passions will learn to control other impulses as well.

My goal is not to bar access to bankruptcy, divorce or contraceptives. We should remember and believe that kids can be taught how to live happy lives full of responsible choices.

Parents, don't give up or set low expectations. Don't make any "Plan B" the de facto "Plan A."

David Arnett

Vancouver