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10/31/2008 at 02:00 PM ET

Boo! Some links for your Halloween Friday:

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MB on

I totally agree about high schoolers trick or treating. I see it more as a holiday for little kids (exception: going trick or treating for UNICEF or some other charity). However, I’ll never forget when I was 7 and wearing this homemade costume (I wanted to be the “be kind to animals princess” and instead of saying trick or treat, I told people to take care of their pets). Anyway, this HS kid in front of me was wearing a spiffy wizard costume. The lady giving out candy complemented him, gave him a ton of candy, then SCREAMED at me for taking candy from children. I ran away crying. I have a genetic disorder that makes me tall, so I could see how I was mistaken for someone older, but screaming at me? Really?

MB on

Oh and as far as the Nebraska law, I do think it should be changed…maybe for infants 6 months and under. I see a great value in allowing parents to give up their baby if they are feeling overwhelmed, but a tiny baby is not going to remember that experience. It’s traumatic for a young child or teenager to be abandoned!

I’m a public health practitioner, so my solution would be for Nebraska to step up programming or awareness of programming for what overwhelmed parents of older children can do. It’s obviously a problem and there are many options for parents but in my state (Ohio) I find they can be difficult to learn about. CFS offers parenting classes, many states (though not all) offer sliding scale community mental health clinics, and there are many other programs as well. People just need to know about them, and that’s our (public health practitioners, social workers) responsibility to some extent.

Artemis on

MB,
Maybe you won’t feel bad if you hear that once I was literally kicked out of a house! I mean the guy pushed me and my friend and said “get out of here you annoying rude kids!” and believe me he was yelling. Some people are weird.

MB on

Wow Artemis! Yah, some people are weird for sure!

finnaryn on

MB, I live in Nebraska and I do not think that the law should be changed until the State steps up programs to help parents. What help there is, is virtually unknown to the general public. You generally find out about it once your children are taken away or in my case, you are a state worker who either works for HHSS, or for an agency that works with them. Once you find out about the services, good luck figuring out how to pay for it. To make it worse, there is talk about privatizing even more services, creating a greater strain on parents who are loosing money due to the time taken off to get help for their troubled teens. To make matters worse, there are some case workers in the system who make suggestions to married parents that they should divorce because that is the only way to get the state to cover these expenses. Yeah, because splitting the parents up isn’t going to cause problems for even more children.

If the system was better able to help the kids and their parents, I don’t think we would see this problem of multiple teens being dropped off. And at that point, I would agree that the age should be lowered. Until then, yes, these kids do go through the harsh realization that their parent or guardian has abandoned them, but they are then placed with foster parents who have better access to the limited help that the state provides, and thus, the kids are getting the help that they need.

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