Samara Tilkens Postuma is raising five kids from infant to teen in the St. Michael area with her husband, Jeff. When not found driving kids to and from activities, helping with homework or at the park or pool, you can find her sharing her life online where she does some freelance writing and social media work and also writes at her own blog,

Posts about Violence

A Road Trip Parenting Conundrum

Posted by: Samara Postuma Updated: August 6, 2014 - 10:13 PM

I took my three youngest children on a cross country road trip a few weeks back. Thankfully an aunt joined us about 300 miles into the trip so I was really only solo for about 5 hours on day one. 

{Stanley, Wisconsin has a pretty fancy, multi-cultural McDonalds}

But it was that first five hours that ran me into my first road trip conundrum. When we stopped for lunch in Stanley, Wisconsin, my eight year old son had to use the restroom. The idea of sending him in to a truck stop/gas station/fast food restaurant restroom alone had me panicked. But at eight years old, there was no convincing him to come into the women's room.

I was torn on what to do and at the last minute allowed him to go into the mens room while I stood outside.

He was fine. I was fine. The rest of the restroom visits throughout the trip was much of the same.

I'm not sure why this is a non issue on a day to day basis when we are out and about around home besides the fact that we're in familiar territory and usually with friends and family.

I try not to live and parent with fear but the entire situation had me wondering, what does everyone else do in situations like this?

Is there a real reason to be cautious or are we just oversaturated with Dateline and Headline News stories of what could happen?

What do you do when you are out and about with your children and your child of the opposite gender needs to use the restroom?

Do Zero Tolerance Policies Go Too Far?

Posted by: Samara Postuma Updated: May 8, 2014 - 1:54 PM

The story of Alyssa Drescher from Faribault County is all over the news, the web and the papers. Alyssa, a junior in high school, was expelled for the remainder of the school year, originally permanently, because a pocket knife, used for farm chores, was found in her purse at school.  The rule is the rule, says the school and expulsion is imminent for bringing a weapon at school. Her family and supporters though beg for reasoning and Alyssa worries about her future. 

Zero tolerance policies started to gain momentum in the 90's and supporters of them say that because there is no gray area, there are no exceptions or even favoritism. Yet those who criticize the policies say they are ineffective and typically cause severe consequences and repercussions for minor offenders. 

The rules are the rules and in my mind, the clearer the better, yet shouldn't some discretion be available to administrators? 

I can honestly see both sides. Alyssa's story is not unique, there are stories upon stories about how an honor student who doesn't have a reported history of trouble making makes an honest mistake and is punished. But if schools give preferential treatment or make an exception, does that allow other students to commit the same offense and claim it was a mistake as well?

What do you think? As a parent or community member how do you think this situation should be handled and then just for a minute pretend it was your kid, would you think differently? 



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