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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The other side

I enjoyed bragging yesterday about how Parents spend more time with their kids today than they did 40 years ago. But as Barry correctly pointed out, there are still problems. Problems that seem to start in the teen years, where I don't know why, but parents seem to lose control over their kids, and the parents seem out of touch.

There has been plenty of blame going on in the news, with the "dangers" of MySpace, so much so that places have actually taken to trying to ban it. Of course, plenty has been offered in the way of blaming the Internet for teen smoking. To prove their point, The American Cancer Society enlisted kids 11-15, according to this article, to go and buy cigarettes online. And of course the kids were able to get them because the site did not "verify their age." Back in August, this article points out that kids as young as 14 according to the study cited have purchased alcohol online. I will return to that age verification in a momment.

The latest today, is article about how Teenagers are turning to the Internet to buy Prescription Drugs. At least in this article the examples they give are teenagers that are 18 and 19 years old, so in theory at least, the parents can be given some benefit of the doubt because the kids could have possibly already had their own credit cards, and were of legal age. But of course despite the examples given, what the article is hinting at is again that underage teens are acquiring these items via the Internet.

Now wait a minute and think about that. Underage kids buying things on the Internet. (See I told you I would get back to it). How exactly does an underage kid go about purchasing something on the Internet like cigarettes or Prescription drugs? After all, they would need a credit card to complete their transactions. The Credit Card companies don't (generally, unless a mistake is made, but that usually only happens in TV sitcoms) give credit cards to minors. They are not of legal age to enter into the contract for a credit card. So are they using Mom and Dad's Credit cards? Hmmm. Maybe if the parents were paying attention. You think?

Somewhere along the line these parents seem to want to abdicate responsibility for raising their kids to legislators. Well we need to stop the sale of Prescription Drugs on the Internet because 11 year old Tommy is buying Xanax. Well, dumbass don't give a credit card (or don't leave it where he can get it) to you underage kid. And maybe it might be a good idea to take a look at the bill every so often and see what the hell is on there.

I don't know if this was nationwide or not, but around here, one television station use to run a PSA every evening. "It's 10PM, do you know where your child is?" I used to think it was a stupid ad (especially when I was a teen), but you know what? Most of the time, (hey I'm not perfect, and sure I fibbed once or a dozen times) my parents did know where I was.

Nobody is going to raise your child for you. You can legislate the world away. Even as a teen (and probably especially as a teen), your parenting skills and guidance are needed. It is easy to stay in your child's life when they are young, they really can't stray all that far away from you. But as they get older, their needs for you don't diminsh... they just change.

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