Tuesday 6 December 2016

Killing brings home terror at letting our children grow up

What used to be playing up by rebellious youngsters is now life-threatening behaviour. What's going wrong? asks Carol Hunt

Published 05/09/2010 | 05:00

SHATTERED PEACE: The hearse carrying the remains of Michaela Davis passes by the spot where the body of the 12-year-old schoolgirl was found on the banks of the Royal Canal in Dublin last weekend
SHATTERED PEACE: The hearse carrying the remains of Michaela Davis passes by the spot where the body of the 12-year-old schoolgirl was found on the banks of the Royal Canal in Dublin last weekend

IS it an exaggeration to say that many Irish parents are terrified at what they're hearing every week about tweens and teens whose behaviour ends in tragedy?

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I don't think so. Whether it's worries about kids drinking and driving, or engaging in wildly age-inappropriate sexual behaviour, gaining access to internet pornography, or generally putting themselves at risk, parents today face dilemmas and challenges that earlier generations couldn't have even begun to imagine.

I know this because I'm one of those parents, and I've talked to many others who are similarly concerned. Neither of my children is a teen yet, but in today's hyper-sexual, alcohol- and drug-drenched world, it's never too early to watch out for signs of trouble. Kids aren't stupid, nor are they as innocent and naive about the dangers and 'pleasures' of the world as we may wish. Earlier last week I had this conversation with my "nearly 10-year-old" daughter.

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