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July 21, 2024

Teen-rearing tips

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M Mizzi, Byron Bay

Carlos Gutierrez should know I was not being sarcastic nor was I attacking him personally; what I was saying is fact and is what I have observed and the prevalent mentality of those kids and young adults that I see every weekend in Byron Bay.

I do not disagree with his methods of child rearing, but for many of these people it is too little too late. They simply do not know when to stop – or want to. Their behaviour is affected by far more than just their parents. They have peer pressure to contend with, a culture that sells them a glamorous, pornified lifestyle, the glorified triplet of sex, drugs and rap or whatever other musical thing they are into, and the easy availability of alcohol, which was the real issue first being discussed.

Thus, adding another outlet like the mega Dan Murphy’s right in the centre of Byron Bay would have been folly, a red rag to the kids and a sure sign that their adult mentors are giving them a confusing and often contradictory message. If I do not want my child to watch too much TV I do not sit them in the TV room and expect them to ignore it. Similarly if I do not want my kids to consume too much alcohol I do not allow the purveyors of alcohol to build more and more outlets and expect my kids to ignore them when they go out on the town.

Mr Gutierrez’s initial argument was that allowing a Dan Murphy’s in Byron would not have affected kids’ choices and behaviour and that parents should be able to convince them to stay off the booze, but it seems that sensible authorities disagree with him and have decided not to wave a red rag at the imbibers.

Sadly we live in a culture that sees alcohol as a part of the initiation into adulthood, so it is not just parenting that needs to change and improve but the culture that underpins this behaviour, a culture that permits it and role models it into children’s psyche. You don’t do that by allowing alcohol dealers free reign everywhere to create more and more outlets.


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