Opinion: Giving kids ‘the talk’


For the past couple years, my teacher neighbor (also a Mrs. Wilson) and I have given a spring break lecture to our students about making good choices. When faced with a tough decision, they’re to consider the question, “What would Wilson say?” We have PowerPoints, a spot on the weekly news roundup, even “WWWS?” bracelets. We’re basically legends.

Our advice is practical: wear sunscreen, use the buddy system, avoid incarceration, etc. But I personally like to add a bit about vacation romance. “Beware the SB fling,” I caution. “It will most likely end in heartbreak.” On the other hand, I tell them they might just find their soulmate and eventually wind up with four children, a mortgage and a bald spouse.

The kids find this hilarious, especially when I explain that I’m speaking from personal experience. Yes! This is a true story of love at first sight. I met my husband, Doo, when I was a senior in high school during spring break. We were in a tiny Bahamian town, Doo with his family, and I with my wealthy bestie. Miraculously, he called the week after we returned, and the rest is history.

So, yeah, we stress the importance of agency in our annual talk. Students have to make their own decisions, hopefully after weighing all the pros and cons. If they opt to forgo Coppertone SPF 50, they need to be prepared for a nasty sunburn. Decide to swim alone? Shark bait. And if they choose to flirt with the cute guy at the pool, they should be ready for a short-lived relationship. Or, perhaps, a marriage proposal.

“WWWS?” Make good choices!

Peace out.


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