Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 06-13-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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Page 29 of 47

2 AT HOME / ENTERTAINMENT JUNE 12-18, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER LIVING EDITION Try not to overreact to new friend groups Q: Our 14-year-old (he's going into the 9th grade at a public high school) has taken up with a bunch of kids that we don't exactly approve of. They have reputations as trouble- makers and at least one has already been arrested for shoplifting and had to do some community service. The irony is, they all come from families that are highly regarded in the com- munity. We haven't seen any dra- matic change in our son's behavior, but he has become more secretive and has told us he doesn't want to play sports anymore. In the opinion of lots of parents, the kids in ques- tion are under-supervised. Naturally, we're concerned about the potential bad influence. I want to tell him to find new friends; my husband wants to take a wait-and-see. What do you think we should do? A: I don't mind taking sides in this; to wit, I agree with your husband. To begin with, it's completely nor- mal for kids your son's age to be flex- ing their independence – it's all part of preparing for emancipation (which you should be preparing for as well). In the process of establishing emo- tional distance from parents and fam- ily, a certain amount of "secretive- ness" is to be expected, no matter the nature of the child's peer group. In and of itself, that's neither a bad nor a good thing; it's just the way it is. Boys are naturally inclined toward risk-taking. If they aren't provided sufficient opportunities to take risks in relatively safe contexts – wilder- ness camping experiences, for exam- ple – they are more likely to gravitate toward peers and activities that are inappropriate or truly dangerous. I witnessed that as a teen and saw the potential for it in my son when he entered adolescence. The young teen boy (and not boys only, by the way) is in danger of making supremely impulsive deci- sions; his parents, on the other hand, are in danger of reacting such that he becomes more secretive and per- haps even rebellious. Your husband understands that, I'm sure, which is why he doesn't want to make matters worse by "clamping down" without a good, concrete reason. In that regard, I need to point out that something as subjective as "We have a bad feeling about those kids" just doesn't qualify. I strongly encourage you to trust your husband's judgment. Partly because they don't have an intimate understanding of boy-ness, moms generally tend toward over-protec- tion, even overreaction in situations of this sort. Unless there's more here than is reflected in your question, I feel confident in saying that your hus- band will intuitively know the when and how of intervention if interven- tion becomes warranted. In the meantime, this is an ideal time of year to enroll your son in some activities – like the wilderness camping experience I mentioned above – that would satisfy his need for risk while at the same time providing adequate supervision and guidance. Dad can certainly jump in there by planning summer father-son getaways that involve hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, dirt-biking, and things of that sort. Where your son's choice of friends is concerned, he's bound to expand his social sphere when he enters high school in the fall. His present choice of running buddies may turn out to be nothing more than a fling. For now, just keep your eyes open and be ready to step in and establish con- trols should it begin to look like he's about to lose all semblance of com- mon sense. Remember that energy you expend worrying will be energy you won't have when you most need it. Family psychologist John Rosemond:, Traditional Parenting JOHN ROSEMOND Take a peek at gardens in Newport THE NEWPORT GARDEN tour will be held Friday-Sunday, June 14-16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Take a self-guided walking tour through Newport's historic Point section. Tickets are good for any or all days of the tour. Tickets are available at for a discounted rate of $20. Thursday Night Walkabout series begins June 20 Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park will offer its Thursday Night Walkabouts this summer. The Walkabouts are free public programs, offered on Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m., from June 20 through Aug. 29. Each week, you will have a chance to explore a new community, or head down an unknown trail and discover some of the people and places of the Blackstone Valley. The first walk on June 20 will be in Ashton Mill Village. The group will discuss the people that lived and worked there, and how a community formed around the mill. Later weeks will include birding in both a rural and urban landscape, a geologic his- tory of the Blackstone River, and a tour of the Millville Lock. The programs and starting sites for this year's series are • June 20: Life in Ashton Mill Village, Captain Wilbur Kelly House Museum, 1075 Lower River Road, Lincoln • June 27: The War to End All Wars, Whitinsville Memorial Park, Linwood Avenue & Church Street, Whitinsville, Mass. • July 11: Hopedale: From Commune to Company Town, Hopedale Unitarian Church, 65 Hopedale St., Hopedale, Mass. • July 18: Reconstructing the West Mill, North Smithfield Public Library, 20 Main St., Slaterville • July 25: Birds and Wildlife of the Blackstone, Captain Wilbur Kelly House Museum, 1075 Lower River Road, Lincoln • Aug. 1: A Changing Landscape: River Bend Farm, Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park's Visitor Center, 287 Oak St., Uxbridge, Mass. • Aug. 8: Wildlife in an Urban Landscape, Slater Mill Historic Site, 67 Roosevelt Ave., Pawtucket • Aug. 15: A Geologic History of the Blackstone, Captain Wilbur Kelly House Museum, 1075 Lower River Road, Lincoln • Aug. 22: Raising the Boat: The Millville Lock, Blackstone Bikeway Parking lot, 49 Central St., Millville, Mass. • Aug. 29: A Great Irony: Hopedale and the Civil War, Adin Ballou Park, 2 Peace St., Hopedale, Mass. Information can be found at www. . Contact Ranger Kevin Klyberg: Kevin_Klyberg@NPS.GOV or 401-428-3816. Dining Guide COMDEY NIGHT! Saturday, June 22, 2019 • 9:30 p.m. Presented by The Comedy Factory Exclusive area appearance of Top Boston headliner...the hysterical Chris Tabb! Plus: John Perrotta, Cory Gee, & more! $15 per person (show only) For show and dinner reservations, call 401-334-3200 LINCOLN MALL PLAZA Take-out or Dine-in 334-3200 Open Daily at 11 a.m. Karaoke Thursdays Please Please Please Support Support Support these Local these Local these Local Advertisers Advertisers Advertisers

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