Being a mother of two, I thought I already knew from gross: I mean, soon after my daughter was born I gave her an airplane ride while lying in bed, and a big line of drool fell from her mouth right into mine. But here's something that made even my battle-hardened stomach queasy: A New York City teenager recently licked a subway handrail on a dare. You can even watch the video.
The prize was just $1 and bragging rights (and exposure to about a bazillion different germs). It's hard not to think this kid's crazy! But don't you remember some wild dares from your own childhood? One of my high-school classmates ate a gypsy moth for a dollar. And few years back, I read about a kid who'd eaten dirt on a bet and ended up with a lung infection. Turned out there were worm eggs in there that hatched inside her body. Yewwwwww!
Experts say that kids issue dares to test each other—and that they accept them to try to fit in. Which is why you've got to talk to your kids about being their own person, and help them figure out ways to turn down dumb bets without losing face. Practice a few lines, like "I gotta get home now," or "Yeeeaah....I don't think so, kthanksbye." A kid who thinks for himself? Now that's daring.
Has your kid ever done something stupid on a dare? Leave a comment.