Thu, July 18

Letter: Parents- Use your heads and put your children first


I was in Walmart last night after 8 p.m. and saw at least 25 elementary school-age children in the store with their parents, shopping for dvds, clothes, toys, etc.

I saw no one at the pharmacy counter, so illness and the need for meds probably wasn't why they were there.

I was very angry, and I was planning on the tone of this little letter to reflect that, but I've changed my mind. I think a little parental education would be better. Parents need to understand that children that age need sleep and rest in the evenings. They need to wind down, relax, just like adults do.

Walmart is over-stimulation at its worst. If children don't get the sleep they need, it's hard for them to get up in the mornings and eat a nutritious breakfast. They have a hard time concentrating in class, a hard time absorbing all they are being taught, a hard time taking tests. They come home tired, and it's hard for them to concentrate on homework and whatever chores they've been asked to perform.

It's not fair. And it's not like they will say "Gee, it's 8 p.m., I had better get ready for bed."

As parents, it's your job to set the bedtime and routine for their benefit. And think of the other children in your child's class at school - if your child is tired and can't concentrate, then the teacher must spend extra time with your child and that takes away from teaching time with all the other children. That's not fair.

As far as last night, it was Tuesday night after a three-day weekend. What could possibly have been so important to shop for that you couldn't have picked it up over those three days? Nothing I saw in any of the carts I saw last night. And you may not think 8 or 8:30 is late, but for children who must get up early, it is. And I have been to the store at 9 p.m., even 10 p.m., and seen parents and children shopping -- and a cashier said it's not unusual to see kids in there as late as 11 p.m.

Please parents, do your children a favor and help them be successful in school.

Jacque Coombs