Editor's column

I’m going to start with a couple fun and lovely topics before I get serious.

I had some fun Tuesday evening trying to get a nice picture of the reindeer at Sleepy Eye Medical Center’s Santa’s Workshop. This is the third year they’ve brought live reindeer to their event and I decided three should be the charm. The past two years I tried to take pictures of the reindeer from outside their enclosure and have not been satisfied with the results — too much fence, not enough reindeer.

This year I got there a little earlier and had a nice visit with the ladies who brought the reindeer as they were setting up. Then they helped me arrange a nice photo opportunity right inside the fences. I finally got a reindeer picture worthy of publication.

Now, if I could just take a picture at a concert that would convey the lovely sounds of the music, I’d be pretty happy about that too. Congratulations to the student musicians at Sleepy Eye High School on the beautiful music they made at their concert Monday evening.

Now, on to the serious stuff — the joys of parenthood. We love our kids, we want them to be happy and safe, and we struggle with different issues as they grow from babies to teens.

There have always been difficult issues that parents need to talk to their kids about, like sex, and now they have to talk to them about sexting and other online dangers. Ughh, not fun, but necessary.

Kids have phones. They can call for that ride home, call to tell you they’ll be late, but also are very connected to everything their friends do and say through their phones. As adults we are still learning how to manage all this phone stuff.

One of the moms said it’s hard to get kids to listen, would the message mean more from the police? Officer Bohnen said they felt the students might dismiss the message if they heard it every year, so decided to bring the message to parents and students in alternating years. So, yes, the police will tell the kids, but parents need to also.

Officer Bohnen is assigned to child protection for the Sleepy Eye Police Department. As parents, if you feel you need more information about this topic, I suggest contacting him with your questions.

The main thing is, talk to your kids about safety on their phones. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary.