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Carole Meekins: Positively Milwaukee

Sailing Solo at 16

Positively Wrong

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Sorry, but No!

As you probably know by now, 16-year-old Abby Sunderland had to be rescued in the Indian Ocean, but for several hours last night, she was feared dead.

I have to give a huge thumbs down to the parents. No matter what her skills, or her dreams, sometimes parents have to be parents and say no.

I remember when I was in high school and all my friends were going to take a post graduation trip a few hundred miles away. It was going to be the party of our gang. We were going to spend the day in a huge park in Missouri.

I went to my parents, and they were like, "I don't think so." They issued me a resounding No. They were not comfortable with me getting in a car with teen drivers who had little experience. Plus, there were no chaperones.

I was crestfallen and thought they were too protective. In my illogical adolescent view I even thought they were mean and cruel. I was quite unhappy. My friends all went, and came back safe. No one got in any trouble.

Now that I am older, and in news, I understand my parents fierce protectiveness. I am glad they did not just let me wander around and do whatever I wanted.

Young people need parameters, boundaries and guidance. They do not always know what's best for them. And when they don't, it's up to the parents to do the right thing, and keep them safe and out of harm's way. That's a must even if it means some unpleasant reactions from their know-it-all teens.

My prayers are with Abby. I'm glad she's been rescued. But to allow her to partake in such dangerous dream at such a young age is an action totally devoid of common sense.

This idea just doesn't float with me.

The following is a link to Abby Sunderland's Web site:


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