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The playground is just the beginning

I thought I’d show my crazy, over-protective parent side for this week’s post and maybe get some of your opinions on the things I’m about to talk about as well, so here goes it!

I really don’t know how I’m going to handle my kids growing up and going out and doing things when I’m not there. Seriously. When I take the girls to the local playground I freak out a lot a little inside when E climbs the metal bars. My heart beats fast and I hold my breath until she reaches the slide or whatever she was heading towards. And I mean, come on! It’s just a playground right? Of course I don’t let her see that I’m panicking because I know it’s somewhat crazy (But really, it is potentially dangerous so I’m not a complete loon. Right?) and I don’t want my kids to be afraid to play, but still…

The real issues that get me worrying, however, are things like sleepovers. It’s not like when we were kids any more. (Or it is and we’re now more aware.) I’m not sure when or even if I’ll let my girls go to a friends for a sleepover. I will definitely need to know the family of where they want to stay, but even then how will I know if an uncle or a family friend or whoever stops by who I don’t know? My girls aren’t even close to the sleepover stage yet and this already makes my head spin. So that brings us to my first set of questions: How old do you think is appropriate to start sleepovers? Will you let your child go to them (hypothetically speaking for those of you who don’t have children)? Any other thoughts on the topic?

Then there is the ever present issue of drugs. They’ve always been around and always will be, but it seems like even the smartest of kids are completely stupid when it comes to drugs. Do you know how blasé kids are about things like ecstasy these days? “It’s just a party drug.” Is a response a of friend of mine got from her high school students. Yeah, sure, it’s just a party drug that puts massive holes in your brain, depletes your personality and potentially could kill you with one bad hit. (Ok, I just tried a quick search to find some links about the bad effects of X and it seems most people consider it a “soft” drug, but it can have all of the effects I stated above. I’ve seen extreme users who were no longer themselves, just sad empty shells of who they once were. And I saw an Oprah special a long time ago that showed brain scans of users who had these massive black holes in their brains. It was crazy.) A recent study shown in the news here said that Australia has the highest rate of ecstasy users per capita in the world. Great.

Then there is “ice“. Methamphetamine, crystal meth, whatever; That is one crazy ass, bad, mutha of a drug and it scares the shit out of me. Andy downloaded a special about it and we’ve only watched half so far, but holy f*@k. It made me cry. The smart, happy, popular kids were doing it. They do it, get hooked, chase the high that gets harder and harder to get, and ruin eventually themselves. They know this is possible, but think things like, “I’ll just do it once. I won’t be that guy/girl.” What do you do to stop them? Even if my kids are the top of their class, as happy as possible and have everything how do I stop them from making the mistake that it seems so many kids are making? I’ll educate them on the bad effects. I’ll save things like this special to show them. I’ll do every damn thing possible, but I bet if you ask some of the parents who have kids who got caught up in the mess that drug creates they’ll tell you they did the same. So what? Maybe I’ll just never let my girls out of the house or my sight. What are your thoughts on these and other types of drugs? How will/would you try to prevent your children from trying them?

And this is just a sample of the things I worry about. There’s still strangers, sex, crazy drivers, rabid bears, tooth decay…it never ends.

Just like the playground, though, I won’t let them know how panicked their growing up makes me feel (well, to a degree) because I don’t want my kids to be afraid to live life, but still…


7 Responses

  1. Wow. None of this even remotely occured to me to worry about. My poor parents!

    As a kid, sleepovers were the highlight of my life. I

  2. Grr! Don’t know what happened to my comment there. But continuing, I started having them in grade one, which may or may not have been too early, but nonetheless I had them and they were brilliant – especially since my friends lived in the bush! Adventures abounded out there, and also some other creepy crawly things I won’t mention on account of your frettingness today.

    As for drugs, I have no particular view on them. I’ve never been involved with them, so, what can I say? I’m out of the loop. I think the best thing my parents ever did for me was teach me to do what I want and not what’s cool, and to make sure that I understood the consequences of what I wanted. I didn’t want to lose control of myself, so I stayed clear of drugs. Maybe the best any parent can do is to teach their kids that? I don’t know. I’m not a parent. I have no idea.

    Teeth decay, though. That IS scary. God help us all!

  3. I think you are half way there by realizing that your children CAN get involved in this stuff. A lot of parents think their child would NEVER do that because they are too smart or have everything etc etc.
    But one good thing is to make sure they have healthy interests like sports that will keep them busy as well as they will have respect for their own bodies and will not want to do any damage that would jeopardize their ability to excel. It is not the answer but it certainly helps. Although I didnt do that for you guys, I still know how LUCKY I was that you both turned out the way you did.
    love ya

  4. I agree with your mamma, cuz mamma is always right!

    I’ve already told my kids the family fortune will be lost if they ever smoked or did drugs, so that seems to be working (at 9 and 7…)

    Seriously though, it is hard because pot was so prevalent at my school growing up, and, that was a lot tamer than any of the drugs you’ve listed here. It is scary. But you have a lot of common sense and I’m sure you will pass that on to your children. 99% of it is parenting, that I believe.

    Don’t worry about the monkey bars though. Those worries are for naught, she could fall down in the kitchen and split her head open on the table just as easily. 🙂 (oh, that isn’t helping, is it?)

    Take care. xoxoxox

  5. Ha! at the tooth decay. GAH! at the rest.

  6. I share your concerns. I think one important thing is to always know where you children are. A lot of parents just let their kids roam around town free as birds. Also, give your kids responsibilty at home! Wow! So many parents are scared of their kids and give them a life where they are held accountable for nothing. Educate the children! Make them good citizens on this planet.

  7. I think 10-years-old is about right when it comes to sleepovers. I had a friend that set her kitchen on fire when she had a sleepover once. They should definitely be responsible should the parents step out.

    I have the same anxiety when I’m at the playground. The thing that worries me most is the fall.

    But whether that fall be literal or figurative, they will happen to our children. We give them the tools to live. It’s up to them to use those tools. Meth is very big here, and it creates shells of people. Find pictures of meth mouth and show them to your children when they are old enough. That should be a big deterent. Continue to research the effects of drugs and share it with your kids. Educate them and they will make educated decisions.

    You’re not alone. Keep on worrying with the rest of us momma’s. Just don’t shelter them or else they will rebel.

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