I read Kelli Slominski's letter, "Candy-diving kids court disaster at Grand Forks parade." And I agree with the problem but not all of the solution.
It was a nice day, and the parade was a huge success. I applaud the organizers for making the parade into what it is and giving Grand Forks a great parade (since we don't get one on the Fourth of July).
I also saw issues: bands had to move to get around parade watchers, and a truck had to stop when two kids jostled for an item (while their parents just sat and watched).
But I don't think the solution is stop throwing candy, which is part of what makes the parade so much fun. Kids love candy.
- We parents need to step up and do our job. So, if your kid is out too far, pull them back.
- Part of the problem these days is we're afraid to use community parenting. As a result, children routinely see other youngsters acting up without anyone telling them to stop. So, the observant children think the bad conduct is OK.
Instead, we as a community should remind young people that their parents are not the only ones they need to respect. I have no problem telling other nearby children at a parade to get back behind the line.
- Parade participants should be given a leaflet that tells them to throw candy behind the children who are out too far. That way, the kids will run to the candy and away from the parade.
Also, don't hand candy to the kids, as doing so only draws more kids out farther.
A little training would go a long way.
I agree with Slominski that a little more police presence and a line of some sort would be useful. But stopping the throwing of candy would ruin the parade's appeal to kids; and over time, that would kill the parade.
I ask the community to help grow our children to be respectful and responsible adults. (It takes more than one or two people to raise a child.)
I ask parents to pay attention to what their child is doing. And last but not least, I ask please do not stop throwing candy.
East Grand Forks