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But I Am Old Enough! [Kids Today / USA Today]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Kids Today / USA Today
Cover story
Jan. 15, 1995

Sometimes being a kid can be a real drag. You are 11 or 12and kids just a few year’s older are getting to do cool things like drive, date and stay out late.

Matthew Lee Anderson, 12, of Purvis, Miss., says if he was just 15 (the age many states let you drive with an adult) he could take his dad’s silver Chevy truck for a spin. For now, he’s only allowed to take it up and down the driveway when it’s his turn to take out the garbage. “I have a really long driveway,” he says.

In fact, of all the things kids look forward to doing, most put driving at the top of the list.

Jenny Leazer, 11, of Fort Collins, Colo., says, “It would be fun. I could go to the mall.”

Other things kids say they’re anxious to do: Wear makeup, shave, vote, have a say in their classes / teachers, babysit, date and bungee jump (many bungee companies require participants to be at least 16).

Teresa Ann Edwards, 12, of Elkhart, Ind., says she would also like a later bedtime. “Midnight at least,” she says. Now she settles for 9 p.m., but looks forward to staying up later. “Maybe when I’m 16.”

Teremiah Marble of Palm Bay, Fla., is 16 and says staying up isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. “I used to think I was missing something,” Marble shares. “Now I am working so hard on homework and activities, I wish I could go home and get some sleep.”

Marble says when he wanted a later curfew, he’d negotiate with his parents, “Before I’d say anything, I would make sure what I wanted to do was really worth it. If you just ask for the sake of getting your way, you’ll end up doing something you don’t really care about. Then, when it comes time for the thing you really want to do, your parents will say no.”

Another tip from the editors (who, yes, were once kids, too): Never say “Everyone else’s parents let them stay out late.” Odds are, your parents will tell you they are not everyone else’s parents, and order you to go do your homework.

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"I get by with a little help from my friends," says Hope, who gives special thanks to:

• MICHAEL GIBBS, website illustration and design: www.michaelgibbs.com
• MAX KUKOY, website development: www.maxwebworks.com
• STEVE BARRETT, portrait of Hope on Bio page: www.stevebarrettphotography.com

Contact HOPE KATZ GIBBS by phone [703-346-6975] or email.

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