Partying and a Parents Resonsiblities

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I read a lovely article in the Huffington Post about teaching our boys kindness, bravery, and about sex and how to protect themselves. I think this article is largely right. But why stop at just educating the boys?

Sure, boys rape girls. Boys rape boys. But, did you know girls rape boys too? Before you roll your eyes, there is no shortage of female teachers who become convicted pedophiles. Rape is a crime of control and of violence; it is not unheard of to hear men and boys as a victim either. As more light is brought to the subject men are reporting crimes that happened as boys and teens. According to the National Institute of Justice more than 800,000 men are sexually assaulted by their partners annually in the US.

Now lets talk about how to protect our kids.

Trust: Know who to trust and who you cannot trust. This is hard to learn. We have all had friends we thought we could trust and got burned. Even as an adult I sometimes have a hard time knowing who I can and cannot trust. If our kids are going out and partying, they need to be taught who to trust when they are at their most vulnerable. As I said in my Steubenville article, role play and have them run through scenarios and have them HONESTLY admit who they can and cannot trust in certain situations. Good friends will look out for one another.

We have to teach our kids basic safety measures. If your kid is old enough to be going out, drinking and partying with friends, for some this is age 16, teach them basic safety measures. I grew up in Germany as a teenager. If you could see over the bar, you ordered beer. But, my parents taught me some basic situational safety measures that I am sure saved me and my friends multiple times.

  1. Go with a group of trusted friends. Don’t go with frenemies unless you want to stay sober. (see next bullet)
  2. Someone in that group needs to stay sober, even if you aren’t driving. That sober person is responsible to take head-counts, and make sure you don’t go off with some random person you met that night. This sober person is also your Jiminy Cricket when, after 2 too many jello shooters, you think streaking down the dorm hallway is a good idea.
  3. Only take drinks straight from a reputable bartender, and no, the frat brother of the house does not count. When I was younger, date rape drugs were just making an appearance on the party scene. Don’t take a drink from someone you just met. If someone wants to buy you a drink, have them order and pay, but let the bartender pour.
  4. Don’t drink and drive or ride with someone who has been drinking. This one is less ‘rape-safety’ and more ‘life-safety’ oriented.
  5. Let your child know the law when it comes to age of consent and how to check ID. The last thing you want your son doing is gong to a party or a club and being arrested for not checking ID. Consensual maybe, but it might not be legal.

Summer Water Safety

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Im not sure how many people know of this wonderful service, but I need to blow the whistle. This is a great organization that is offering invaluable services to our community and it is WAY under-funded and under-utilized. We need to change that!

Mary Bridge Childrens Hospital in Tacoma has some really great safety programs for kids. I know if I could wrap my kids in bubble wrap for the rest of their lives to ensure they don’t get hurt I would. But I also know they would be scarred for life upon entering Jr. High. So, we as parents do the next best thing: we baby proof, provide bicycle helmets, get car seats fitted and generally do what we can to provide a safe environment for our kids to grow up in.

Mary Bridge can be a partner in that with you. Their Safe Kids program is described this way:

Safe Kids Worldwide is the first national non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of accidental childhood injuries to children under 14 years of age. Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Health Center is the proud lead agency for local Safe Kids coalitions in Pierce and King County-South. Members of local Safe Kids coalitions represent a wide variety of community organizations such as fire departments, law enforcement departments, education programs and schools, health care organizations, local health departments, human service organizations and other community members.

Just some of the programs they offer:
* Car Seat Checks: Tues 9-10:30 at the safety building 1112 S 5th Street 253-403-1417
* Bicycle Helmet Fitting/Sales
* Water Safety (Short Term LOANER Life Jackets) 253-403-1234
* Safety Education programs and presentations to schools/daycares

My family has used both the car seat checks and the loaner life jackets. The life jackets are not trendy, nor cute and they have the MultiCare/Mary Bridget information on them, but hey they work! This weekend we will be doing a lot of swimming and you know what? Rather than buy life vests for the short time we will actually wear them, Mary Bridge has loaned them to us for free! My kids are safer because of this program and for that, I thank you from the bottom of this moms heart!

If you are looking for a car seat check closer to you: Check here for a list of events!

Safe Kids Pierce County – Car Seat Inspections

Safe Kids Pierce County is a local group of people who are dedicated to the prevention of accidental injury and death by increasing awareness and creating safe environments through education programs.  (from their website)

They perform the following services and from previous interactions, their staff is gentle, kind and really enjoy teaching safety to kids.  You can call them at 253-403-KIDS or find them here.

  • Child passenger safety programs (car seat checks)
  • Helmet programs (fittings)
  • Water safety
  • Pedestrian Safety
  • Babysitting classes (Safe Sitter)

Before you hit the road this summer – get your car seat check up! Upcoming car seat inspections:

  • May 19 10-2pm at the Fircrest City Hall (115 Ramsdell St Fircrest)
  • June 9th at Central Pierce Fire Station Safety Fair 10-2pm (17520 22nd Ave East)
  • September 29th at East Pierce Fire & Rescue HQ in Buckley (18421 Old Buckley HWY)

April Pools Day

If you like to swim and want a way to get a free swim, look no farther. The East Side pool (3524 East L Street) in Tacoma is having a pool safety day with a free swim after.  You must participate in the safety class to participate in the free swim.  But with summer quickly approaching, pool safety basics are a must!

Preventing drowning, the second leading cause of death in children, could be as simple as spending a free afternoon at your local swimming pool.

For the 18th year in a row, Eastside Pool will be celebrating April Pool’s Day by providing free water safety activities followed by an open swim on Saturday April 21, hopefully changing the statistics and saving lives.

Brush up on water and boating safety skills and learn drowning prevention strategies by participating in games and water safety stations. After participating, families can enjoy a free open swim.

Children under the age of seven and those who cannot meet the height requirement must have an adult in the water within an arm’s length at all times while the child is in the water.

Saturday, April 21
1:15-1:30 p.m. Check-In
1:30-2:30 Free water safety program
2:30-4:30 Free open swim*

*Must participate in the water safety program

For more information, contact:
Eastside Pool
(253) 591-2042

Shred Event

Many of us receive credit card offers in the mail and will manually tear them up before throwing out. Some of you are lucky enough to have a shredder at home. With tax season upon us, it’s a good time to re-visit best practices when dealing with your own sensitive data.

It’s so easy to steal someone’s identity. A few pieces of information from your Facebook page, your twitter timeline or your LinkedIn profile and most of your passwords are cracked.

In the physical realm, think about the piles of mail that you get everyday. We call it junk mail, identity thieves call it opportunity. Opportunity to take the credit card offer and open the card, in your name, for themselves. Opportunity to steal account information from your existing credit card bill, (Don’t fool yourself, the ‘hidden’ numbers will only deter the laziest if thieves. Sophisticated thieves will already know the beginning 4 digits because they are designated by your institution) Then there are all those years of tax documents with social security numbers send other personal identification. (Keep at LEAST 7years tax records, you never know WHEN the IRS might come knocking) It’s overwhelming to say the least!

Well LeMay has a solution for us! Shredding is a simple, effective way to protect yourself from identity fraud. ID theft costs Washington state residents nearly two billion dollars a year.

To make it even easier to shred, you can bring up to three grocery bags of your old documents to a FREE shredding party. Check out the list below for a location near you!

April 7
Tyee Educational complex parking lot
The City of SeaTac Recycling program
4424 South 188th Street
Seattle, WA
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

April 7
First Federal Savings
1603 East 1st Street
Port Angeles, WA
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

April 14
Miller Insurance Group
7995 SW Seneca Street
Taulatin, OR
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

April 17
JBLM-McChord Field Commissary
577 Lincoln Blvd.
McChord Field, WA
10:30 AM – 2:30 PM

April 18
JBLM-Lewis Main Exchange
Bldg 5280 41st Division Drive South
Joint Base-Lewis McChord, WA
10:30 AM – 2:30 PM

April 20
Safeway parking lot
2930 Ocean beach Highway
Longview, WA
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

April 21
West Van Transfer & Recycling Center
6601 NW Old Lower Road
Vancouver, WA
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

April 21
Central Transfer Station
1411 Tower Avenue
Centralia, WA
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

April 21
Harborstone Credit Union
4720 Center Street
Tacoma, WA
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

April 21
First Federal Saving
1321 Simms Way
Port Townsend, WA
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

April 21
Silvermark
16398 NE 85th Street
Redmond, WA
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
For Commercial Clients Only.

April 21
Tapco Credit Union
6312 19th St W
Tacoma, WA
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

April 21
Timberland Bank
7805 South Hosmer Street
Tacoma, WA
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Donations accepted for Rotary 8 Community Projects

April 21
Windermere
2312 Pacific Avenue
Olympia, WA
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

April 22
Gaiser Hall-Clark College
1933 Fort Vancouver Way
Vancouver, WA
12:30 – 4:30 PM

April 23
Timberland Library
1100 South Silver Street
Centralia, WA
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

April 27
Pierce County Crime Stoppers
Cheney Stadium Parking Lot
2502 South Tyler Street
Tacoma, WA
3:00 – 7:00 PM
Donations accepted for Pierce County Crime Prevention

April 28
Oregon City Police
320 Warner Mine Road
Oregon City, OR
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Cell phone recycle and drug turn in day

April 28
Albertson’s
2800 Milton Way
Milton, WA
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

April 28
City of Puyallup
Cornforth Campbell Parking Lot
302 2nd Street SE
Puyallup, WA
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

April 28
City of Sumner
822 Alder Street
Sumner, WA 98390
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: Old Red Apple Parking Lot

April 28
Finley-Sunset Highway
6801 SW Sunset Highway
Portland, OR
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

April 28
First Federal Savings
1201 West Washington Street
Sequim, WA
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

April 28
McDonald McGarry
630 Main Street
Edmonds, WA
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Cell phone recycle and drug turn in day

April 28
O’Bee Credit Union
400 Cooper Point Road SW
Olympia, WA
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

April 28
Tapco Credit Union
5303 112th Street East
Tacoma, WA
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

April 28
Linden Grove Health
400 29th Street NE
Puyallup, WA
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM