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 Old enough to die, too young to drink

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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 9:47 am

A Stodghill Says So blog:[
One of the local police departments proudly announced last week that its sturdy men in blue had broken up a ring of lawbreakers and hauled the culprits off to the hoosegow.
Who were these vicious people? A wild bunch of 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds who got together to party and had the gall to drink alcoholic beverages. The shame of it all.
No matter that a high percentage of men getting shot at and blown up in Afghanistan and Iraq are that age. No matter that an equally high percentage of men and women on our navel ships are that age. Trust them to do those jobs, send them off knowing that some will die, but heaven forbid that they drink a glass of beer or a shot of Jack Daniel's finest.
There is something badly flawed with the mindset of a society that allows that. If someone is too young to drink, what sort of person would say he or she is old enough to die in the service of the country? You can't have it both ways. If they are too young for one they are too young for the other.
But they aren't too young. That is the age of countless men who have fought the battles down through the ages. My friend Harry McKitrick was a sergeant, a rifle squad leader, when he was killed in Germany at the age of 19. My friend Lewis Gorkowski was an infantryman of 18 when he died in Italy. The list would fill volumes of those that age killed in every war from the American Revolution to those of today. Include those from all nations and you'd fill a library.
But many do-gooders with twisted thinking say some of those 18, 19, and 20 are immature and irresponsible. True. So are many at the ripe old age of 21, 31 or even 81.
It's a farce and anyone who says otherwise needs to give it some serious thought. Either bring everyone under the age of 21 home or welcome them back with, "Let me buy you a beer."
I was months short of my 20th birthday after having survived some of history's bloodiest battles. Had someone said, "That's nice, but you aren't old enough to take a drink," I would have handed them my rifle and said, "Here, you do it."
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 10:04 am

Unfortunately, Dick, drunkenness among young people is a big problem in the UK. Many deaths are caused by drunk drivers and brawls in the street can, and do, result in accidental death.

Losing a loved one is painful no matter what the circumstances. Saying that it was accidental does not ease the pain.

_________________
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Carol Troestler
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 10:15 am

Shelagh has stated the main problem.

When the drinking age is 18, there will be "spill-down" a few years to those 15 through eighteen that will drink illegally. When the drinking age is 21, the "spill-down" is only to 18, 19, and 20. Spill-down is probably not the correct word, but this is from statistics.

The second problem was that one state would have a drinking age of 18 and the next one 21. Thus people younger than the drinking age in one state would travel long distances to the other in a group, get drunk because drinking was the only reason they were driving as far as they were, and the drunk driving accidents and deaths were high on the borders. Again statistics confirm this.

As a result they felt we needed a consistent drinking age in the whole country. However, there were disagreements on age, and thus it came out as it did.

It is the drunk driving issue, not a prohibition issue, and if their is any "do-gooding" going on it is to save kids from drunk driving deaths to them and friends if possible. If the driver lives and their friends die, that is forever. I have known cases like that.

I do believe that there should be some sort of dispensation, (not the best word again) for those in the military. I truly believe that one should be able to drink if one has committed to die for their country.

Carol


Last edited by Carol Troestler on Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:17 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos)
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Don Stephens
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 10:42 am

Neutral


Last edited by D. J. (Don) Stephens on Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 11:00 am

I agree Don. The issue should not be with age but with responsibility for those who do drink. In some societies, drinking is not as big a problem as in the USA, simply because the taboos against drinking are not so rigid. Where I live, even children drink a bit of wine (watered down of course) along with adults at mealtime. Beer is also consumed in moderation as a beverage. The idea to go out on a binge and get drunk is not as attractive. Drunken driving is as rigid here as anywhere with severe penalties, as it should be. Human nature has not changed. What is forbidden is sought. That applies to the sex morals as well.
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 11:34 am

A question for Shelagh and Carol: But it's OK for a country to send them off to die but tell them you're just a little kid and can't drink? Sounds hypocritical to me. You can't have it both ways. Abe is right; it is the cause of binge drinking.
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Carol Troestler
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 11:50 am

Dick,

I didn't say that they shouldn't be able to drink. I think they definitely should.


I was just stating how we got to the federal law of 21. Obviously when the vote came for the new law of 18, there were states very much in favor of the 21 age limit and not just drunk driving concerns. Not Wisconsin however, but they were concerned about the kids from Illinois crossing our borders.

As Abe said, it is the binge drinking. In Europe there are healthier views than here. Why our culture thinks we need to drink to get drunk is a question I cannot answer. It was pondered at many a meeting I attended at the state level. I had nothing to do with the new age limit.

I think prohibition was definitely a wrong approach. One of the worst fall outs was that it kept women from getting the vote sooner, which would have been accomplished if my gender hadn't been associated with the prohibition issue.

The Northwoods is rampant with prohibition stories. Supposedly on the island in front of our cabin there was a large mafia alcohol production operation.

Much of the latest movie with Johnny Depp was filmed in Wisconsin and is talked about here frequently.

Carol
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Malcolm
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 11:57 am

I've always thought having the government tell us when it was okay to drink was absurd in the first place. But when we say you can't drink but you can go fight a war, its doubly absurd. If we're worried about teenage drunk driving--and we should be--we can mandate breath meters on cars.

Malcolm
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Carol Troestler
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 12:13 pm

Malcolm,

There are a lot of good ideas. However, many good ideas were determined to be illegal. I worked in this field twenty years ago. Nothing has changed.

Definitely those who go to fight should be able to drink.

Carol
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 12:21 pm

Another frightening statistic: more young people die in road accidents every year than are killed on active service. Why do we tolerate this?

Young teenagers are more at risk on the streets at home than they are on the streets of Baghdad!

_________________
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Carol Troestler
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 1:37 pm

What is sad is that most teens today knew someone who was killed in a drunk driving accident.

Committees I worked on discussed lots of ideas, like having an agreement between teens and their parents that they would call home if they felt they would have to ride with someone who was drunk, and that their parents would come wherever they were, no questions asked.

We had groups for kids who were caught drinking through breathalizers and well-documented means, but the parents ended that because they did not want their kids who got caught "drinking once" to associate with the "riff raff." As far as I'm concerned no teen is "riff raff."

I left this behind because it was so frustrating. The programs I worked with that were the most effective were "teen facilitators programs." These were teens trained in listening skills, drug and alcohol abuse issues and especially how to make referrals to adults. Those groups ended because it was felt we put too much responsibility on the teens. If anyone read the training manual they would have known how much support these kids had from adults. If they read the evaluation they would have known how belonging to this group these kids drank less, and their grade point averages improved considerably since they had learned a few skills in the realm of responsibility.

I will stop replying here as, like Shelagh, this topic tears at my heart strings.

It was in this realm that I was hired by the state to write and be a content editor for a program guide for schools. It was a very lucrative writing endeavor, but most of all a very worthwhile one.

Carol
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JoElle
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 2:31 pm

Dick Stodghill wrote:
A question for Shelagh and Carol: But it's OK for a country to send them off to die but tell them you're just a little kid and can't drink? Sounds hypocritical to me. You can't have it both ways. Abe is right; it is the cause of binge drinking.

I think if the drinking age is going to be 21 ... then the draft/sign up age should be 21 as well.

If the draft/sign up age is 18 (not to mention if you are old enough to be tried as an adult in a court of law) ... then young men and women of 18 should be allowed to drink.



Regardless of the drinking age, be it 18 or 21, the 15 - 17 year old kids will get alcohol and drink if they want to badly enough.
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 3:41 pm

Come on, Shelagh, give that more thought. Consider how many young people are on highways compared to how many are in Iraq or Afghanistan. Being in one of those countries is a countless number of times more dangerous than driving or riding in a car.

Glad you agree, Carol, and sorry I misunderstood you. JoElle has it right, make any law you want but they will still drink. Prohibition never works, it just adds a touch of adventure and glamor to drinking.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 4:13 pm

It doesn't matter to a parent, Dick, if a child dies in a road accident or on active service. Children of all ages die on the roads every minute of every day. Telling a parent that the percentage of children killed on the roads is low compared to the number of children out and about is no consolation.

"Young drivers have a higher proportion of crashes (many of which are single-vehicle) in the evenings and early mornings, when they are most likely to be drunk or drugged. Between the hours of 2am and 5am, male drivers are 17 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a road crash than male drivers of all ages."

_________________
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JoElle
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 4:19 pm

Dick Stodghill wrote:
Come on, Shelagh, give that more thought. Consider how many young people are on highways compared to how many are in Iraq or Afghanistan. Being in one of those countries is a countless number of times more dangerous than driving or riding in a car.

Glad you agree, Carol, and sorry I misunderstood you. JoElle has it right, make any law you want but they will still drink. Prohibition never works, it just adds a touch of adventure and glamor to drinking.

Gosh! If you think about it an 'adult man' can buy cigarettes and get hooked on those at age 18. And an 'adult woman' can buy a deadly weapon (shotgun and ammunition) at 18.


But a responsible 20 year old husband and father of one, who has a full time job and supports a family can't enjoy a beer when he barbecues on the weekend????
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 4:28 pm

A million road deaths every year:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/may/15/comment.transport

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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 4:31 pm

When I lived in Germany many years ago, the laws against driving while drunk were so stiff that in our group, someone always volunteered not to drink and be the designated driver. One fellow said that driving a taxi was always a last resort job; and a drunken driving conviction made that impossible. A license to drive was so expensive that they waited until past their teens to get one. Cars and insurance were so expensive it took the age out another couple years.

All that seems quite good to me in terms of eliminating irresponsible drinking. I know there was lots of dancing and drinking in our small town for festivals, but I don't remember many drunk drivers - many on bicycles though.

I watched Blackhawk Down the other day. I don't know how realistic it was; but men and women who risk their lives at the direction of their government (my government too) deserve every recognition for their service, the least of which are the rights of adulthood. I do not understand how the psyche survives the horrors of war; I just don't know. I guess like any trauma experience, survival moves forward, one day at a time.
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Phil Whitley
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyMon Jul 06, 2009 6:41 pm

Not sure if I have posted this here or not, but some of you know that I
have been studying the Civil War, especially the 42nd Alabama Infantry
regiment in which my gg grandfather and two of his brothers served.

I knew that the two older brothers, my grandfather and his next younger
brother had been POWs at Camp Douglas in Chicago - my grandfather for
only a short time and the brother until the final surrender.(recorded
on pension requests). No one in the family knew what had happened to
the younger brother. Some thought that he had "went out west" after the
war, never to be heard from again.

I was earching for records from Camp Douglas for a list of prisoners so
I could determine the dates and length of stay but could only find a
list of those who had died there. Just for kicks I looked down the
list for anyone with the name "Whitley", and to my amazement, was the
missing brother, Sanford. He had been talken prisoner "near Atlanta",
taken to Camp Douglas, and within two weeks died of dysentery.

He was 19 years old. He is buried in a mass grave of 6000 soldiers..I
doubt that Alabama had drinking age laws in 1864, but if he wanted a
drink he deserved it.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyTue Jul 07, 2009 2:32 am

Dick Stodghill wrote:
Come on, Shelagh, give that more thought. Consider how many young people are on highways compared to how many are in Iraq or Afghanistan. Being in one of those countries is a countless number of times more dangerous than driving or riding in a car.
The age limit for holding a driving licence in the UK is seventeen; the age limit for drinking in public is eighteen. Far more teenagers die in road accidents at the age of nineteen than seventeen. The age limit in the US is not set to stop servicemen drinking in public places; it is set to reduce the number of teenage deaths caused by drunkenness.

"The differences among the dead are as important as the totals. If there were an archetypal fatality from this war in Iraq, he -- and it would be a "he" -- would not be all that different from one in past wars: He would be an Army infantryman, slain in combat. Unlike his predecessors from most past conflicts, he would be from a metropolitan area, and he would have died after "major combat operations" were officially over. He would be 20 years old."

http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0504/052804nj1.htm

_________________
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Malcolm
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyTue Jul 07, 2009 9:56 am

Shelagh,

Part of the teenage driving problem--at least in the states--comes from parents who no longer act as parents but prefer to be pals and buddies.

Parenting has indeed changed when it's acceptable, for example, to rent hotel rooms for your kids on prom night because you know they're going to have sex with their dates anyway.

Parenting has indeed changed when it's acceptable to give kids high-performance cars while they're in high school or upon graduation. Why does a kid who doesn't even have a job deserve a car that costs more than most families with two-person incomes can afford.

The kids are growing up with a strong feeling of entitlement, as though they some how deserve all this, if not from mom and dad, then from the government.

Most of us who drink do not equate it with getting drunk, much less driving in that condition. Teens are growing up with the wrong messages and that's part of what we should be trying to change rather than making wine and beer illegal.

Malcolm
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyWed Jul 08, 2009 12:27 am

Malcolm, I agree.

Although times have changed, parenting is still an important aspect of child development. Today there are more factors that influence a child’s behavior that include school, TV and their peers. Many parents take the easy way out, throw up their hands and say, “What can I do? Kids will be kids.” They often succumb to the wants of a child rather than their needs. Not all parents are competent. Some become parents by accident and don’t want the responsibility. That is a dilemma. Those who desire children often shower them with all the things they didn’t have, and in my view, that is worse. Home life has changed. Both parents working is a factor. Who takes responsibility for the child’s upbringing? At one time the school provided discipline. That was lost when teachers were prohibited from touching a child. Today one is supposed to reason with a child. Demanding that they observe certain rules is no longer acceptable.
I’m just glad my parenting days are over; otherwise I would likely be accused of child abuse. My kids turned out great. They love and respect their parents. They did not get into trouble with the law or were they ever on drugs. They do enjoy life. That includes having a drink, enjoying a smoke and the freedom to live their own lives as they see fit. They are responsible adults.

I don’t often see my grandchildren and they came for a visit. That’s another story.
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Carol Troestler
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyWed Jul 08, 2009 1:47 am

I might have told this story before but it fits this thread:

Up in the Northwoods a young girl took her four friends about twenty miles out of town to a bar, probably because they served underage drinkers, which is another part of the problem.

Coming home, she hit a curve and the four friends were killed. She was taken to jail. Her father left her there. No one bailed her out. She was guilty and served a sentence. When she got out, she thanked her father for leaving her in jail. She was sincere.

This is a story played out too often but not with a father leaving a daughter in jail. Too often parents come to the rescue when, like this girl, they need to have consequences.

Some people are good parents and their kids drink and get on drugs. It is the reaction of those parents when this happens that is important. Good parents will be loving but not only provide consequences but let the natural ones occur. Sometimes that doesn't work like with George McGovern's daughter who died here in Madison many years ago.

There is so much that goes on in the hearts and minds of young people and parents often only get a glimpse. I know that from grandchildren who come and tell me lots of things about their hearts and minds. They are also open with their parents, but there have to be a few secrets. Those hearts and minds are valuable. Just read my granddaughter's poem in Forever Friends. This is a young lady with a visual impairment, enough to keep her from ever driving. High school kids can be beautiful and can be cruel. For the first three years of high school, she stayed away from social events. The last she began to participate.

Now that she has entered the adult world, she is finding it a better place. Perhaps it is two fold: her reactions as well as others. There is so much to learn about life, for all young people. Only so much can be taught. The rest has to be a "do-it-yourself" proposition.

Carol
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyWed Jul 08, 2009 6:03 am

Carol wrote:

Quote :
Good parents will be loving but not only provide consequences but let the natural ones occur.


When I was a young parent, I happened across some articles in a women's magazine that was either written by or about the work of William Glasser.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choice_Theory

I liked what I read, and applied some of it to my own choices as a parent, and to this day, feel that they were some of the best choices I made in those days. When I started my first teaching job, I learned that his student disciplinary program was being used at the experimental school where I had been hired to teach.

The program has evolved over the past forty years, and while I was teaching, I learned other means of achieving the desired ends, and that no two young people react exactly the same way to the adults in their lives, but this theory has held up pretty well in my experience. Even now, as I tutor, I occasionally find myself getting a student back on task by firmly asking, "What are you doing...?" I am far from being a behaviorist, per se, but sometimes, behavior - our own and that of others - is the only thing we have to work with.

Ann
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Carol Troestler
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Carol Troestler

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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptyWed Jul 08, 2009 6:43 am

I like resiliency theory. In this theory for young people, some are considered more resilient than others. Betty is an example of someone who is resilient, that they take extreme difficulties in life and rise above them. And they often will seek out and find that person they can trust who will help them along the way.

Others are not as resilient, tough times bring them down and they face depression and anxiety and the feeling things cannot get better. However, in the field of counseling, these people can be brought up to the level of the resilient kids by helping them find inner strengths, outer resources and trusting people in their lives.

Example: I once had a group of high school girls. We always began our group sessions with "brags and bummers." One day a girl said her brag was they now had water in their trailer home. Someone asked, "How long have you been without water?"

The girl said, "Since November." This was April.

Of course these girls, who had to shower and wash their hair every day or the world would end, were horrified. "But you always look beautiful. How do you do it?"

"Well, I go to my neighbors and shower. I like her a lot and we spend time together."

It is sort of like the saying how some people have a natural ability to make lemonade out of lemons, and others need to be taught how to do it.

I never was much of a behaviorist, probably because it never worked with my own children, although having majored in psychology it was going to be my tool in raising children. I had an unusual group of children

For example, I had a son who didn't talk until he was four, a gestalt learner who learned in wholes and began his talking life with in-depth discussion and has never stopped.

Carol
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Old enough to die, too young to drink   Old enough to die, too young to drink EmptySun Jul 12, 2009 5:17 am

Dick, it looks like we may soon add smoking to the list of things that soldiers can't do:


http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/12/military.smoking.ban/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

Ann
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