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Parents need a wake up

Original post made by don't get it, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2008

It is fact that when you get your license at 16 that you need a year before you drive your friends. It is a fact that drugs are illegal. It is a fact that you are considered an adult at 18. It is a fact that you have to be 21 to drink legally. It is a fact that it is illegal to drink and drive.

So, what is wrong with this town? Why are parents telling their kids that it is ok to drive their friends the same week that they get their license and why are the police not setting up "stops" after school to check on drivers (like they do for drinking on New Years). Why are parents not realizing that the drinking and drugs are rampant at both high schools even with Freshman and Sophomores and why are the police not patroling the exterior campuses to stop the kids from stepping a foot off campus (this is not a school issue because someone decided that it was important to give kides off campus rights) to break the law? Why are we letting our kids abuse alcohol, drugs and sex at 15, 16, 17 and turning a blind eye. How many of you know that house parties go on continually while you are out of town and that tremendous use of drugs and alcohol are used. When you are home they still party hard but then they drive at the same time. No this is not "the other high school" this is going on with the children from your child's school. Parents seem almost afraid to address these issues for fear that their neighbor may not care or want to know. I know, I know... we were all in high school once and we "all experimented" but do you want to know what the big difference is between now and then? At that time, we knew that we were sneaking and trying something that we knew was illegal. Today, there are no consequences and our children are being taught that it is only illegal if you get caught. Big difference.

As Bob Cosby says, "WAKE UP PEOPLE" these are children (yes children) gone wild at alarming rates and at earlier and earlier ages.

Comments (11)

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Posted by Sydnor
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 21, 2008 at 1:10 pm

I really agree with you. I live near an elementary school, and from my house, fairly often during summers or weekends, I can see kids drive up in nice cars - Mercedes, BMW's, Audi's, etc., go on to the school grounds to smoke some marijuana. Sometimes they climb up on the roof, sometimes they sit in the lunch area, sometimes they go in the alley behind the school. After they smoke for a few minutes, they get in their cars and drive off. I've called the police once, but never saw any response.
I'm sure these kids won't end up being axe murders, but it is also clear that their parents either don't know, or don't care what their kids are doing.
I don't like this activity going on near my house, but I've generally adopted a live-and-let live approach, but as a parent of little kids, I'm worried about my kids, and how to make sure their fun nights out are spent eating pizza and going to the movies, not smoking weed and drinking.
I don't buy the excuse that kids are "too stressed out." Rather, I think parents are too busy, or too lazy to care, which as a parent (of younger kid), I understand somewhat because it is quite hard sometimes, but we've got to do a better job.
Thanks for posting this topic.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 22, 2008 at 6:47 am

Having been there, done that several times, I doubt any parent approaches the child's driving casually.

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Posted by call the cops...
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 22, 2008 at 7:07 am

Sydnor, please don't "live and let live" when it is really "live and let die" you are doing. If you see people smokin', call the isn't safe for them, NOR for your own kids. Imagine how you would feel if one of your kids one day is hurt or killed in a car accident caused by a drunk or stoned teen driver, where someone knew they were getting drunk or stoned, but decided to "live and let live".

Call the cops, please........

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Posted by don't get it
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2008 at 9:44 am

Walter, you see that is where people do not get it; parents are telling their kids that it is ok to drive other kids in the car because they do not believe in the year waiting period for 16 year old drivers. This places an enormous pressure on the parents who are trying to tell their children to abide by the law. I have told several parents that their child is driving others and they say literally say that they do not care and they have told the kids that they do not care. Look at the stats for 16 year old drivers, folks, they did change the law for a reason.

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Posted by It's not all bad out there
a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 22, 2008 at 10:03 pm

My kid's at Gunn, and there ARE the things you cite, I agree, but not every kid is doing this stuff, and not every parent is letting sixteen year old drivers drive others, and not every child would drive others even if the parents would let them.

I've been really impressed by many of the kids I've met. I don't think I'm naive, I just think I'm seeing a different subsection of the population (with 1900 kids there are lots of different ones!).

They're not all like that.

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Posted by I agree with It's not all bad out there,
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 23, 2008 at 11:25 pm

OK, let me get this straight. Yes, there are teenager in Palo Alto that do drugs, or drink, or do not follow driving rules. Yes it ought to be addressed by all concerned.

Yet, there are many, many good kids in Palo Alto as well. Students who do not take drugs, who do not drive drunk, who respect the rules. Students who study hard and go on to good college careers and good lives.

Students who have jobs on the side to have a little pocket money because their parents know better than give them huge allowances.

Students who have parents who care, who do not buy their 16 year olds BMWs or Mercedes.

I know many, many, good teenagers and good kids in Palo Alto.

So, please, no sweeping generalizations, no alarmist posts. Thank you.

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Posted by don't get it
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2008 at 11:29 am

To "I agree it's not all bad out there" you are correct about there being kids out there that follow the rules. No one said that every teen is bad, there was no sweeping generalization meant. What I was saying is that even you might be surprised to find out that some of the kids that are getting great grades, that do not have big allowances, that do not even have their own car, kids that will go on to college and yes kids that are good teenagers and good kids are still being exposed, tempted and experimenting at an earlier age than any of us would care to think about. This is a call to care about the youth and think about the consequences of our busy life, their overburdened schedules and their exposure via Facebook, the Internet, TV, etc. things that we as high schoolers usually had to sneak a peak at rather than watch full blown movies whenever the mood strikes. With parental rules relaxing with a few of the teens there is a huge trickle down effect that we should all be aware of.

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Posted by A realistic look
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 24, 2008 at 11:29 pm

Dear "Don't Get it"--

It is YOU who needs to wake up, not everyone else. Teens have always clashed with the older generations. I'm sure you did as well. New technology brings new adventure.

I am eighteen-- still a teen, yet legally an adult. Please, do not try to meddle in our lives! I--like many others--am very good at multitasking. I can manage my own life--stress and all--without an overzealous parent generalizing about us.

Facebook, youtube, and the myriad of other websites may seem overwhelming to you. Maybe it's because you don't know how to use them? Speaking from my own experience, I can tell you that all have greatly enhanced--not detracted--from both my social life AND my education.

Everyone makes poor choices. I'm sure you have as well. But the day I start stereotyping a certain group, spewing invective and creating hysteria--please--let me know. For it would go against everything I've ever learned about logic, about reason, and about humans in general.

For all of our sake: STOP.

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Posted by Don't get it
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Dear "A realistic look",

I am not trying to meddle with your life. At 18 you should be the director of your own life. My discussion point was directed at 15-17 year olds parents who may not be aware of the number of kids driving at 16 with friends in the car and the number of kids being exposed to drinking and drugs at earlier ages. The exposure to young teens via Facebook and YouTube is much more than when you were 14/15 years old. That does not make them bad but it does mean that young teens are exposed to more at an earlier age. If that offends you then I am sorry.

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Posted by Another teen
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 25, 2008 at 9:13 pm

"A realistic look":

The amount of arrogance with which you write your post is unbelievable. Do you really think you know how to live your life after only 18 years on this earth? PLEASE. How much HAVE you even learned "about logic, about reason, and about humans in general"??? All hail this 18-year-old genius!

If anyone needs to wake up, it's you. Believe me, years from now, you'll wish someone would've meddled a little.

And if you knew anything about humans, you'd know that every single one of them stereotype others - consciously or unconsciously.

Do us all a favor and live a little longer before you pretend you know anything. Maybe if arrogant kids like you respected the adults in their lives, we wouldn't have so many problems.

Another 18-Year-Old

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Posted by Parent of teens
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2008 at 5:24 pm

As a parent I can see that there are good and bad kids out there and there are good and bad parents out there. We can't generalize about kids but we can't generalize about parents either.

The big thing about parenting is that there is no book of instructions and no rules on how to do it. We all learn from our mistakes and yes we do all make mistakes. Still, we all do good things too.

So rather than criticize, we should try helping each other. The phrase that it takes a village to raise a child does apply here. We should all be aware that if we see something going on which is not right, then it is up to us to ask ourselves what we can do about it. It may seem like interfering, but I would rather someone interfere and save my kid's life rather than mind their own business and not tell me something I should know. If we have the right sort of motivation, then we can do something to help. If we don't, we might have to live with the wrong decision for the rest of our lives.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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