A timeless Christmas gift: The laws your grandkids need to know … maybe

Dec 25, 2019
Forget toys! Teach your grandkids some legal lessons this Christmas. Source: Pexels.

Struggling with gift ideas for your grandchildren this Christmas? Why not give them something that doesn’t cost anything, doesn’t need to be wrapped or require a chimney or batteries, will always fit and never needs to be returned? Not only that, it could be very useful for many Christmas’ to come.

What is it? It’s information, but not just any information – it’s great, practical, everyday legal information that the younger generation will just lap up!

On Christmas Day, at an appropriate time and before they have the chance to be disappointed with your lack of material offerings, gather them around you and the Christmas tree. As they gather at your feet in salivating expectation, eyes agog at the mystery of Santa’s generosity about to unfold, you regale them with the following: “My loving grandchildren, as you grow older, I think it is important for you to know something about the law so that you can grow up just like me, a good, law abiding citizen”.

From here, you go on to ask, did you know that:

If you’re under 10 years old

  • You cannot be charged with a criminal offence.

From 10 to 14 years old

  • You can be charged with a criminal offence but the law has to prove that you had the ability to understand that what you did was wrong.

From 14 years on

  • If you are charged with a criminal offence, it does not have to be proved that you had the ability to understand that what you did was wrong.

For 16-year-olds and on

  • It is illegal to have sex with a person under the age of 16
  • You can leave school
  • You can get a full-time job
  • You can get your own Medicare card
  • You can get a boat licence
  • You can receive the Youth Allowance.

For 17-year-olds

  • You can apply for your driver’s licence
  • You can be charged as an adult for a criminal offence.

And wait for it, my darling grandchildren, you must add, at this point your lives will be verging on adulthood.

From 18 years old and on

  • You can get married without your parent’s permission
  • You can buy cigarettes
  • You can buy alcohol and drink in hotels and clubs
  • You must vote in local, state and dederal elections or referendums
  • You can make a will and an enduring power of attorney
  • You can gamble online, at a TAB, hotel, club or casino
  • You can get a tattoo.

As your pearls of wisdom hang heavy in the atmosphere, I can just see the transfixed expressions on their faces as they sit in stunned admiration and appreciation for such valuable life lessons so lovingly prepared and conveyed to them. Can you see their expressions too?

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial or legal situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product or legal advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial or legal decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services or legal advice.

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Would you want your grandkids to know the facts about their legal rights?

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