Parenting Possibilities: Keeping Our Kids Safe

Keeping Our Kids Safe: Other Persepectives

Is education, communication and an expectation of responsibility around alcohol more useful in keeping our kids safe than raising the legal drinking age? Shana shares her thoughts and invites readers to share their thoughts too.

My almost 10 year old has been curious about alcohol lately. The other day he picked up my glass and asked me what I was drinking. I just answered him honestly and said that it was hard cider and explained that it was like regular cider with alcohol in it. He asked if he could try it and I said no.

After that moment I reflected on whether it would not have been so bad if I let him have a sip. The idea stuck with me. It made me think about the various approaches to alcohol and youth around the world. It seems apparent that U.S. teenagers have some of the highest rates of alcohol abuse in the world. The U.S. is also only one of seven countries around the globe that has chosen 21 to be the legal drinking age. Every other country either has a younger legal age or no minimum age.

I realize that this subject may trigger some of you. I write these thoughts not to profess I know what is best but to bring my perspective to the table. I also chose this subject to generate a conversation as I can imagine many parents feel concern about alcohol use and their kids. As a parent, I would give my right arm to know that my future teenage sons will sail through their adolescents with no issues around alcohol but I am also realistic and frightened that that will probably not be the case.

So as parents, how can we keep our kids safe?… Read the rest of this entry »

Parenting Possibilities: Chores and Halloween

If I Pay My Child To Do Labor is That Bad?

I’ll start at the beginning and then you can chime in and let me know what you think…

I took my 6 and 9 year old boys to the Halloween store at Hampshire Mall in Hadley. Never in my life have I gotten a kick out of the scare and gore of Halloween. Rather, I enjoyed Halloween and dressing up because I got to pretend I was someone else for a day, to escape, to explore a side of me that I didn’t let myself in daily life.

My 9 year old on the other hand goes for the gore. He has been a Zombie for the last two years. His focus is on the blood, the weapons, the story of how he was killed and why his character is back for revenge. Even our front yard is decked out with all scare. No lovely pumpkins or fun lights. It’s blood, gravestones, spider webs and fear that now greet our visitors.

Our younger son went with power. After checking out his choices, he chose a red Power Ranger suit. I knew how expensive it was and I knew that my partner and I had agreed to give them $10 each.

Our 6 year old couldn’t take his eyes off the bright red Power Ranger suit with puffed up muscles and a golden belt. The cost was $30.00. His first attempt at demanding I give him more money was met with one calm and clear warning that we will leave the store if he asks again…

Read the rest of this entry »

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