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“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

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#1 Mar 28, 2013
EAR ABBY: As a law enforcement officer, I would like to comment on your reply to "Overprotective Mom" (Dec. 26). I agree with your solution to have the boy who wouldn't wear his bike helmet because it was "uncool" visit a facility that treats people with traumatic brain injuries. However, you missed a golden opportunity to remind parents that they are the parents, and because they are responsible for their child's safety, they are in charge!

What has happened to plain old "parenting"? Time and again, I see children make their own rules because the parents have shrugged off the responsibility of parenting. You should have told them to tell their child that if he won't wear a helmet, his bike will be taken away until he does.-- BILL IN BARTLESVILLE, OKLA.

DEAR BILL: You and many readers are right. I did overlook the issue of parenting in my reply. Mea culpa! Read on:

DEAR ABBY: Have "Overprotective Mom" ask her son if he thinks firefighters, fighter pilots, police officers and football players are "uncool." They all wear helmets!-- JAMES IN HASTINGS, NEB.

DEAR ABBY: Not wearing a bike helmet to be "cool" is knuckling under to peer pressure. Those parents should use this opportunity to explain peer pressure and its consequences to their son.

He needs to understand that he must make decisions for himself, and his "friends" should accept him for who he is. He needs to learn to stand his ground and be who he wants to be despite what others think of him. He also needs to learn to make decisions that affect his life based on facts, and not follow the crowd. True friends will most often make the same sound decisions that he makes, or accept his decision without pressuring him.

One other comment: Require the kid to wear a helmet or forfeit the right to ride a bike. It's called "tough love" and although it is tough, it is also rewarding. More parents need to have sound, well-thought-out rules and stick to them.-- PARENT FIRST, FRIEND SECOND

DEAR ABBY: Patients cannot be used as exhibits, even with the best of intentions. It would be unethical and also illegal under HIPAA laws. A better option would be to contact the injury prevention office at a local children's hospital and ask for tips. If your readers don't live near one, there are websites filled with helpful information.-- LAURIE IN DALLAS

DEAR ABBY: It's true that there is no state code law in Texas regarding bicycle helmets, but many municipalities, including Dallas, have ordinances that require riders to wear them. That mother should check her city code.-- CONCERNED IN TEXAS

DEAR ABBY: "Overprotective" should let her son choose a "cool" helmet and be sure it's fitted correctly. Going to a bike shop may be the best bet.

Serious bikers are cool and will be supportive. The boy should select the style and color he wants and decorate it with hot stickers or whatever he wishes. If that doesn't work, then take the bike away. It's the kind of cause-and-effect discipline that really works.-- BARBARA IN RUMFORD, MAINE

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#2 Mar 28, 2013
BD from Doonesbury wore a helmet for 35 years .

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#3 Mar 28, 2013
I make my kids wear a helmet. Pretty much they've only ridden around the culdesac. But what if they go on a longer ride with me? Show of hands. How many of you wear helmets when you ride a bicycle? I've never even owned one.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#4 Mar 28, 2013
PEllen wrote:
BD from Doonesbury wore a helmet for 35 years .
That was one of the comics I always skipped.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Mar 28, 2013
I thought requiring helmets for kids on bikes was stupid, until I read about the damage to the head/brain that can happen simply from falling that short distance from bike to pavement.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#6 Mar 28, 2013
PEllen wrote:
BD from Doonesbury wore a helmet for 35 years .
HA! Great reference!

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#7 Mar 28, 2013
I never wore one, but I made sure my daughter did. Of course girls love to decorate their helmets and make them cool.

Oh, BTW, I missed this the first time. Unread rehash.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#8 Mar 28, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
I make my kids wear a helmet. Pretty much they've only ridden around the culdesac. But what if they go on a longer ride with me? Show of hands. How many of you wear helmets when you ride a bicycle? I've never even owned one.
I haven't ridden a bike in 20 years, but if I did ride now, I'd wear a helmet.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#9 Mar 28, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
I haven't ridden a bike in 20 years, but if I did ride now, I'd wear a helmet.
The only reason I'd even consider it is to set an example for the kids. But side from that. Not a chance.

“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#10 Mar 28, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
I make my kids wear a helmet. Pretty much they've only ridden around the culdesac. But what if they go on a longer ride with me? Show of hands. How many of you wear helmets when you ride a bicycle? I've never even owned one.
I worked with a wonderful HR Director whose wife was a super nice person. They had a great marriage. She rode every day along the canal but one day she was found on the ground from a bike fall. She died. No helmet. Eventually he married someone not so nice as her.

The moral of this story is wear a helmet and save your spouse from a marriage to someone not as nice as you.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#11 Mar 28, 2013
These letters blow even harder

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#12 Mar 28, 2013
HA!
dahgts wrote:
<quoted text>
I worked with a wonderful HR Director whose wife was a super nice person. They had a great marriage. She rode every day along the canal but one day she was found on the ground from a bike fall. She died. No helmet. Eventually he married someone not so nice as her.
The moral of this story is wear a helmet and save your spouse from a marriage to someone not as nice as you.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#13 Mar 28, 2013
A helmet isn't gonna do you much good if you bike in front of a Mack truck. And how many people are "falling off" of bikes? Honestly, I haven't fallen off a bike since I learned how to ride one. And you can bang your head just as bad if you fall while walking, so why don't we require helmets everytime our kids step outside? Heck, you can fall in the bathtub, helmets should be required at all times, indoors and out.
That kid who was struck and killed by a falling sign in that airport? He would have been fine if he was wearing a helmet.
And why stop at helmets? Lets just wrap our kids in bubble wrap and keep them on a leash so they're truly protected.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#14 Mar 28, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
I haven't ridden a bike in 20 years, but if I did ride now, I'd wear a helmet.
We're going to start riding to the MIL's this summer and I plan on wearing one *especially* because I haven't ridden in 20 years. All three of us are going to be menaces on the sidewalk for awhile.

And the kids have no problem wearing the helmet while bicycling. But it's a totally different story when it comes to the scooter. Very rarely are they just riding the scooter; they're playing cops and robbers or somesuch, and the scooter is picked up and ridden a few feet, then thrown down and off they run to play in the yard for the next 15 minutes. Then back to the scooter for a minute and then on to something else. I worry all the time that a head is going to get bonked, but short of super-gluing the helmet to their heads, there's no way I'm going to get them to stop mid-chase to put a helmet on.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#15 Mar 28, 2013
Sublime1 wrote:
These letters blow even harder
Okay

George Zimmerman's brother tweeted about the shooting of the baby in Georgia, posted a picture of the (black) kid arrested and asked if this wasn't a reason why people are wary of black teenagers? There were multiple tweets described as a rant. He has now apologized.
Question 1- Does the substance of his rant reflect a social reality?
Question 2-He has commentd on a societal observation that is not palatable- should he have to apologize?

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#16 Mar 28, 2013
I wear a helmet if I'm going to be on roads with cars or when I'm mountain biking. If I'm riding on the local paved trail...maybe.

There was a girl in my 4th grade class that almost died falling off her bike. Had to have brain surgery. It didn't have much of an impact on us wearing helmets then, but you can bet if I had a kid, that would be in the back of my mind and I'd enforce the helmet rule.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#17 Mar 28, 2013
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>Okay
George Zimmerman's brother tweeted about the shooting of the baby in Georgia, posted a picture of the (black) kid arrested and asked if this wasn't a reason why people are wary of black teenagers? There were multiple tweets described as a rant. He has now apologized.
Question 1- Does the substance of his rant reflect a social reality?
Question 2-He has commentd on a societal observation that is not palatable- should he have to apologize?
Iím pretty sure white folks and folks of any race commit horrible crimes too. So, I donít really agree with his logic. However, I will say the following:

Itís not acceptable for folks to speak out about what is really going on with far too many black men in this country, which is something I disagree with. In that regard, there is a grain of truth to what he said. When you look at many comparisons of black men AS A GROUP (not as individuals and we must always keep in mind that we are each individuals and not assume that every individual of that group acts in exactly the same manner) to any other racial group they are not pulling their weight. Itís beyond ridiculous, and to be honest, Iím sick and tired of lame fíing excuses. Itís as if some feel no other groups have had to overcome difficulties. Itís really not an excuse.

It really runs the full gamut Ö from the absence of black fathers in many of their kids homes, to crime and incarceration rates, to high school graduation rates, to college graduation rates, to the average black person being almost 5 times more likely to be on welfare than a white person. Iím not one of these folks who believe it is white people that are causing this or racism. When almost half of black males donít even graduate from high school, itís pretty hard to say itís racism that is holding folks back when it comes to employment opportunities, considering half of that demographic is essentially unemployable for anything other than the most menial tasks, without a high school diploma.

Itís a fíing god dayam embarrassment, considering so many black folks fought so hard for equal rights in the civil rights era. I had the nicest lady who was probably in her 70s, come to my house for my refinancing closing the other weekend. She was the notary for the lender. She was black and she was about the sweetest lady ever. We chatted for probably 2.5 hours as we went through and signed everything. She was talking about all these black men who went to college, ministers, and educated men who wrote books and how her mother went to the University of Wisconsin Ė Madison, which must have almost been unheard of in those times.

I think in a lot of ways many folks in the black community have lost the values of people like her Ö people who valued education and valued opportunity and family, and getting ahead through work and perseverance. I think THAT IS the real problem.

Youíve got far too many fí ups, that make the rest look bad, and some folks, like Zimmermanís brother apparently canít separate that and judge folks as individuals. I donít agree with that. I believe as Dr. King said you should judge folks based on the content of their character.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#18 Mar 28, 2013
Sublime: Very thought provoking post.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#19 Mar 28, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>The only reason I'd even consider it is to set an example for the kids. But side from that. Not a chance.
Ya, I think I'm with you. I probably would wear one, though, if it would be a long bike ride, but not a neighborhood thing.

Which is stupid on my part I know. That's why it's good to get the kids into the habit and not be like me.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#20 Mar 28, 2013
Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
Ya, I think I'm with you. I probably would wear one, though, if it would be a long bike ride, but not a neighborhood thing.
Which is stupid on my part I know. That's why it's good to get the kids into the habit and not be like me.
I never wore my seatbelt until I had kids.

I want to lead by example, and not be the "do as I say, not as I do" dad.

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