This is a qualified yes. I think ultimately, parents are and should be responsible for their children’s actions. However, there is a big difference in age among children. This is where the problems come in.
Teens, even good ones, can easily fall in with the wrong crowd and get into big trouble. Many parents can’t control this group of offenders. I don’t think the abrogates the parent’s responsibility, but in this age group, often outside help is needed to turn these kids around if it is still possible. Many have psych issues either from their family background, experiences while growing up or use of drugs. At this age, support should be mandatory to the family unit. However, I don’t think this eliminates the family’s responsibility for its members who are under adult age.
Another interesting aspect of this law is adult children. Parents have been held responsible for the actions of their adult children if they assisted the child with the incident. The most common case of this is the parents giving a child a car to drive. While parents are not normally held responsible, in the case where the kids have had past problems with tickets, reckless driving or worse, drinking and driving, there are parents that still give the kid a car. I agree with this decision. This is not the same as a kid taking a parent’s car without permission.
If the parents are not responsible for children, who is? This is what a parent is; being the guardian of an underage person. This is always a challenge and a risk; one never really knows what children are up to even when you are present sometimes. This is why parenting is still the hardest job on the planet and too many parents are letting others do the job for them. I truly think some parenting classes should be a requirement for parents at some time. I think they cannot hurt and may help parents who, like me, can be a bit shaky with discipline.
Lastly, I believe that parents who are under adult age and have children should have the children overseen by the state until they start school. This does not mean they can’t raise the child, but they need to prove this ability, including surprise inspections. I don’t know why we pretend this is not a problem, children having children with no way to support them. All in all, I think parents are indeed responsible for the actions of their children.