Letters to the Editor
Updated: May 8, 2012 9:40AM
The charging of three teenage suspects for the vicious New Year’s Eve attack of a Highland Park girl on Chicago’s Northwest Side should serve as a wake-up call to suburban parents who haven’t already had “that talk” with their teenage children.
Chicago is a wonderful city with great cultural attractions and extensive public transportation, but there are places and situations suburban teens ought not to venture into alone, and they should never go with strangers in unfamiliar areas.
Trips to museums should start at an early age when parents can share their children’s excitement over their discovery of the treasures so close at hand. There’s no reason for putting off such trips until the children become teenagers.
Once children reach the stage where they feel comfortable about traveling on their own, the parents should discuss safe ways to reach chosen destinations and explain about the extra care they need to take in many areas after dark.
Osmosis doesn’t work when it comes to assuming children automatically understand the pitfalls of exploring cities on their own, whether it’s Chicago, San Francisco or London. Parents must help their children recognize life’s realities.
J. L. Stern