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Stay alert this summer

The long hot summer is upon us, and as usual many parents will be going the extra mile to keep children focused, and engaged, in positive activity, despite distractions previous generations never had to deal with.

Parents, or guardians, doing their utmost to keep students from drifting off course during the summer school break should be commended. But, a word of caution, nothing should be taken for granted, although many young people today have devious ways of giving the impression that there is nothing to worry about.

The heavy challenge in today’s environment is that most children are armed with communication devices that were unheard of decades ago. The positive side to this is that parents also have the ability to stay in touch with their offspring while at work.

On the other hand, there is always the concern about who, or what, they are communicating about between checks.

To a large degree it boils down to trust, and again early home training is vital in keeping young minds alert, and aware, that summer can be a great fun time, but hidden dangers are never far away.

In this current economic crisis that continues to impact many Bermudian families, some parents face an uphill battle to get children into programmes because of cost.

On the surface it might appear that everyone is riding some type of gravy train, but beneath the outward show, many families, including seniors, are struggling daily. The almost empty breakfast table seldom will make a headline story, but the reality is that one hungry child is one too many.

It might not be a bad idea for our top politicians to try what some Congressmen in the United States are doing this week. Some have opted to feed themselves with just a few dollars a day, to drive home the point that too many families in America are unable to make ends meet. It is a good way to lead by example.

Another major concern here is the criminal world, and the illegal drugs trade, which is always on the lookout for new customers. Children at times make easy targets because of their vulnerability. Parents these days need to talk more to their children about opportunities, and how a wrong decision could become a stumbling block for their future.

There are a number of highly sensitive issues in our community that result in tempers reaching the boiling point. But, no issue should be more important than saving our children who will later have to carry the torch of values, in order to keep Bermuda a healthy, and safe, society.

Our political leaders, along with community leaders, need more than ever, to keep cool heads in the face of controversial issues, because the children are watching, and they tend to know more than we give them credit for.

Another factor is the amazing amount of reckless motorists on our roads, and with children moving about during the summer months, even the police know the risk of injury, or even worse is high. Not a day goes by without seeing someone riding, or driving, without concern for other road users.

This not a time for parents to be complacent. Bermuda has changed over the years and things previous generations did without a second thought are not valid today.

We all hope it will be a safe, and good summer for everyone, but being alert will go a long way in brining this about.

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Published June 18, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm)

Stay alert this summer

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