J Simens.com

What Should Be Banned?


Parenting can be very hard regardless of where you live. I feel it is compounded when you are living in a country different than where you grew up. Growing up in one area you learn small things behind the scenes that make sense to you.  I have spent 28 years abroad and had the benefit of raising two children in this span. Some of my parenting “knowledge” might not make sense to others but it holds true to myself and my kids.

Can you think of any way to get our young kids not to drink and drive?

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To cut down on drinking and driving in Louisiana, lawmakers have banned the state’s ubiquitous drive-through daiquiri shops.  Sounds like a great idea!

Wait – those shops are still legal.

Sen. Dan Claitor successfully lobbied the state Congress to allow only solid plastic lids, not pre-punched hole plastic lids. True, they can’t put pre-punched hole covers on the to-go daiquiris.

As a parent, we always want to keep our children safe. This can be heightened when you live overseas.

I have had unrealistic fears just because of the exposure I have had in certain countries. I know my fears were justifiable but ‘not normal.’  Let me give you a few examples:

  • In Indonesia, I would not let my children ride the small electronic animals you see in malls because several children had been electrocuted while riding in a mall due to poor electrical wiring. My kids understood my worry, and since I never gave in, they stopped asking while we lived abroad. They did get unlimited rides in the summertime when we were in an area where things like this were monitored, grounded and appeared safe.
  • In several countries we lived in, I would not let my children eat the ‘street food’. Mostly because when you see meat grilled on sticks and you have no idea what the meat is…you should not eat it.  I still firmly believe this.  I also hate it when people tell you it is “meat.”  I want the exact type of meat, is it a snake, water buffalo, rat or what.  When we go to Disneyland, Silver Dollar City in the Ozarks and at The Ponderosa Ranch in Lake Tahoe, I would let my children eat anything they wanted at the small vendors or stalls.
  • When in Thailand, I have made it a rule that my children (who were both over 18 years old) cannot use the ATMs that are outside.  They have to get cash from machines located in a building.  Why?  It was the rainy season, and several children have died due to shocks coming from the ATMs, again water and electricity not a good mix. Once again, my children did as I ask, they understood my demands came from caring and not just being bossy. They also don’t think I am irrational. Just a mom who loves them.
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So that is why I am happy places in the USA still care about drinking and driving.  Do I think a small hole in a lid will stop a person from drinking or not drinking something that they purchased – No.  Do it think the inability to slip a straw into that alcoholic beverage will stop a person from buying, consuming and then driving – No.  Am I glad to see others have faulty thinking – as I do? Yes.

At times it is very important to remember that our fears can be real and our justification can be weird but if it is coming from concern for our children, it is good.

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