As long as no one’s getting hurt (physically, emotionally, or otherwise), disagreement with someone’s parenting choices generally shouldn’t be grounds for condemnation. We’re all doing our best and parenting is hard enough without dealing with the judgment of someone who hasn’t walked in your shoes.
That said, allowing your children to play with explosives is insanity. Plain and simple. With or without supervision.
I recognise that some parents will feel offended by that statement, given the bafflingly large part fireworks and exploding bamboo seem to play in some of Trinidad and Tobago's major holidays, but I can’t imagine there’s a logical explanation for why a minor should be allowed to play with pyrotechnics, particularly when the act itself is illegal.
Although many Trinbagonians seem oblivious (or indifferent) to the fact, it is, in fact, illegal to ignite explosives within or around any borough, town or street without advance written permission. If the police were inclined to enforce the law as it stands (if only), all the people who were setting off fireworks and bursting bamboo two days before Divali and six days afterwards (in my neighbourhood, at least) would be facing fines of up to $1000.
Did we really need the police to tell us how inconsiderate it is to terrorise our neighbours and their pets with explosives? Do we need them to tell us that our children shouldn’t be involved in such a dangerous exercise? Judging from the barrage of explosions going off every Independence, Divali and New Year’s Eve, it seems we do.
Do you remember this story? The one about a 2-year-old child who had his fingers blown off by a firecracker just this past Divali? Judging from this, it would appear that at least some parents require parental supervision themselves:
TODDLER INJURED AFTER FIRECRACKER EXPLODES
Let me be clear, here: I don’t think the adults gave little Joshua a firecracker to play with. I certainly don’t think they intended this to happen and, unlike some of the less sympathetic social media commenters, I don’t think they should be jailed for it (I imagine seeing the damage would be punishment enough for any loving parent).
I do, however, think they were ridiculously negligent, as it’s really advisable to know where your kids are when you’re setting off illegal explosives in your yard. I imagine there are more than a few other parents engaging in similar negligence over our more pyrotechnic holidays who simply happen to have better luck.
Here’s hoping little Joshua is making the best recovery possible and has no ill-effects from his unfortunate (and entirely preventable) accident. While we’re hoping, let’s throw in some hope that the citizens of this country exercise a little more consideration and common sense tonight.
But don’t hold your breath.
What do you think of the use of fireworks in general and do you think children should be allowed to use them? Tell us in the comments!
Calisa is the exhausted mother of an energetic, (generally) good-natured and ridiculously sharp toddler whose sole mission in life is obviously to keep mommy on her toes. She spends much of her time reading board books, changing diapers and saying “Ah-ah-ah! Mommy said ‘NO’!” while counting down the hours to bedtime.
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