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Sunday, March 21, 2004

Now and Then 

Just had a note from my sister that caused me to start thinking a bit more about the differences between society now and 30-odd years ago, and how difficult it is for young teenagers today to establish positive independence.

Let me see if I can explain - my youngest niece H is 13. She wants to get a little part time gig going to earn some money. Her mother has been recommending babysitting, but nothing seems to be coming from that. My sister, Dawn, seems to think it is because she is so small for her age. I disagree.

When Dawn and I were that age we were very active in church and scouts and everyone in the neighborhood knew us. We had babysitting gigs at least 3-4 times a week. We were having to turn them down.

I think at this time in society, kids don't have the same kind of network as we did. Church is there, so is scouting, but people look at everything more carefully.

Many neighborhoods don't have the same "feel" as they did the 60's and 70's. With all of the changes in society we seem to have all pulled in away from that "open family" concept.

So - I guess what I'm trying to figure out is what CAN young teenagers do today to earn a little money? Gain a little experience? Develop independence and pride?

I know about allowances and such - but I'm talking bigger than that. Something outside of the home.

Now - I'm not a parent (just Aunt Tammi to many, many kids/teenagers). I did raise 3 stepsons, but that was more years ago than I care to count. I just don't have any ideas. Do you?


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