There are some things kids just don’t want to talk about with their parents — not even understanding parents. And, sad to say, there are parents who don’t want to hear what their kids have to say, even if the kids want to talk.

Those are just two of the reasons why two proposed state laws requiring parental consent for minors to seek medical treatment are a bad idea.

One of the bills, L.D. 31, sponsored by Rep. Richard Cebra, R-Naples, would prohibit health care providers from dispensing prescription medicine to a minor without “express consent” from the minor’s parent or legal guardian. The other, L.D. 746, is sponsored by Rep. Kathleen Chase, R-Wells, and would prohibit minors from receiving mental health or substance abuse treatment without parental consent.

The idea behind these bills is the perfectly legitimate and time-honored belief that parents want and are entitled to responsibility over any decisions affecting the health and welfare of their children. No rational person would dispute that premise, except in the face of one unfortunate reality: Some parents are not inclined to accept that responsibility — nor capable of exercising it.

It’s sad but true in our society that not every family measures up to the ideal; not every family functions with the grounding of love and trust that produces effective parenting.

In a perfect world, parents would impart solid values to their children and involve themselves in children’s lives in a way that leads to communication and responsible decision-making.

In a perfect world, no child would feel the need to bypass a parent in favor of a health care provider.

But the world isn’t perfect, and it’s an undeniable fact that some kids don’t trust their parents enough to talk to them about sensitive health issues, including birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, depression and substance abuse.

If a minor’s alternatives in such cases are to do nothing or to seek help outside the family, outside help should be available. Such help best serves the interests of the child, of society and, ultimately, of the family.

Current law in Maine allows such outside help. L.D. 31 and L.D. 746 would outlaw that help, leaving many young people in intolerable situations.

We understand completely that some parents would be horrified if their child were to seek medical treatment without their permission or without consulting them.

But it seems to us that conscientious parents who communicate effectively with their children would rarely find themselves in such a situation.

It seems to us the laws proposed by Cebra and Chase are designed to solve a problem that doesn’t exist — and to undo a solution to a problem that’s addressed in current law.