We’ve been living in Greece for the last 10 years, so I guess my kids were a little shocked when visiting NY this summer. While shopping in the village a guy in his twenties with some crazy hairdo, walked up to us and offered to sell us marijuana gummy bears. He actually had some weird ass candy in a clear plastic container, and his exact words where “marijuana gummy bears…. Does the body good”. He had definitely eaten some, and was a little scary. The kids were a little spooked by him and the naked guy in Time Square preaching the end is near didn’t help much. As we walked around Central park the kids also noticed allot of homeless people and some tough faces.
You know it was easy to just walk in front of them or cross the street so they don’t see stuff, but is that the right thing to do? Don’t hide the truth from your kids. In a few years, they will be on their own, and if you built a glass room around them, think what the world will look like the first time they are on their own.
Tell them why people are homeless, why people do or sell drugs. If you see kids smoking or drinking in the street, let them see them so they can see how dumb they look. Let them see the real world with you, so you can tell them what to look out for. Show them a pregnant teen, a drunk driver, an abusive boyfriend.
If you prepare them for the real world they will do just fine. I went back later in the day by myself looking for the gummy bear guy but I guess he had sold out :)