My child is invited for a late night party. What do I do as a Parent?
Created by Bhavna Updated on Oct 04, 2012
If one sets out to define a teenager, it will be quite a task but primarily the age between late teens to mid twenties signifies a time in a child’s life where defiance, experimentation, finding ones own self and free expression play a very important part and this is turn can define a basic essence of a Teenager. There comes a time in every parents life when their child is ready to go out in the world unsupervised and it can be a harrowing time for any parent. This is a time when the real test of the character of the child happens and if proper steps are not taken, it may lead to disastrous results.
Some tips, before your child starts to go out on his own:
1.Curfew or Time deadline: Curfew alone should not be treated like a Blanket solution, but then setting up with the curfew time should start early on in life. If you think that you can introduce curfew concept with a child when he/she is a teenager then you have another thing coming. Curfew is just a tool to maximize the safety for your child, in many cases despite the curfew the teenager can get to any number of mischief/unfortunate events while still maintaining the curfew time.
2.Expectation and Consequences: It is very important to be clear about what you expect from your child and what will be the consequence if the expectation is not met. You and your child should both be agreeable to the established consequence.
3.Keeping the Consequences real: The consequence of not adhering to the parent’s advice should be very real. As a parent, know that if you need to enforce the consequence it needs to be important to the child and is also realistic. Consequences like “if you don’t come on time please find another house to live in” are not realistic, unless you really want your child to move out of the house.
4.Knowing your child’s Friends: What your teenager will do once s/he is out of the house and unsupervised, this is greatly shaped by the opinions of his friends. Peer pressure and teenage hormones can lead even a good A- grader to behave unreasonably. Knowing your child’s friends will help you establish a base line on how responsibly they will behave once they are on their own.
5.Make your child aware of the privileges that s/he has: Going out with friends and spending money is a privilege; this is something that your child should be aware of. It is said, “excess of anything is bad” similarly excessive privileges like having any time money (teenage atm) to spend, having a cell phone all the time (not just for emergencies), having a vehicle to move around are the bane of most problems. Once a child knows the importance of a privilege, s/he is more likely to comprehend the situation when that privilege is taken away.
6.Don’t follow the Precedent: Your child might try to pressurize you by telling you that his friend is allowed to stay out late and so even he should get to follow the same precedent. It is your job as a Parent to establish that the curfew is non negotiable. Once your child understands this, s/he will refrain from bending the rules.
7.Don’t be afraid to check up with other Parents: When it comes to teenager it always helps to be doubly sure. When your child tells you about a party and how all his friends will be there, Call up your fellow parents and confirm the same. This way in case of emergencies, say in an event when you cannot trace your child, you know whom to call but at the same time you also need to make sure that it doesn’t look like that you are spying on your child and not treating them with respect.
8.Have Parents information on Hand: Make sure you have the contact information of the other parents whose children are also going to be at the Party. Believe me even if you don’t have to use the information it is reassuring to know that there are other parents who are in a similar anxious state as you. Mr. Mishra (a parent of two teenage daughters) always has a word with the child and his parents who is hosting the party and makes sure that he knows where his daughter is going.
9.Surprise verification: Once in a while if the child is not keeping the curfew time, as an extreme measure, show up at the party, kids at this age are very conscious of the image issues and believe me your child will make the deadline next time just to avoid you showing up at his party.
10.Have a responsible adult Chaperone: The Legal age to get a driving license is 18 yrs in India. If your child is underage for a driving license, make sure your teenager has a Cell phone and a responsible adult driving him to and from the party. Mrs. Sodhi (a parent to a teenage Son) added that they always took the landline telephone number of the place that their child was going to and asked him/her to call from there once he reached the place safely
11.Treat your child with Respect: Once in a while there will be extenuating circumstances and your child will be late, when you get the call from your child informing you of the same, you need to be calm, you cannot yell or scream at the child or threaten him with dire consequences as this will lead to loss of trust. Trust your child enough so if s/he is in trouble ever, s/he feels comfortable to reach out to you for help.
There are many things that you can do to make sure that your child is safe when s/he is out on his own but at the end all we can do is be a good role model for our children and instill values that help them to be grounded individuals who know the difference between right and wrong choices in life. As one of our experts, also a mom to a teenager says “ before his night out, I advise my son that even if he sees his friends doing wrong things (smoking/drinking or watching inappropriate content on the Internet) he does not have to follow the herd but on the other hand he can set the standard by making the right choice, I tell him that I trust him unconditionally and love him for who he is. Her catch Phrase to her son is “Character is what you do when no one is watching”.
Character building is very important because you are not going to monitor him all your life, you can only hope that he makes the right choice when it really matters.
| May 24, 2015
Great blog Bhavana. The tips are quite practical. My children have also reached the stage and I shall encounter the problem very soon. Will always keep ur wonderful suggestions in mind. Thank u for such a great write-up.
| Dec 30, 2013
Good tips ....
| Sep 30, 2013
| Dec 04, 2012
I am soon going to face this situation, the tips will come handy. Great post!
| Oct 11, 2012
Gud tips parenttune very important msg to all the parents.
| Oct 05, 2012
very crisp and concise!!
| Oct 04, 2012
i am going to take a print for my neighbor.... she was just yesterday worried about the same issue..... thanks for the insights , parentune
| Oct 04, 2012
A great Blog, i must say ... the tips given here actually work .....