Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mom can I go to Joe's Birthday Party? What to do when your teen get's invited to a party!

It might seem like a no brainer. Your kid asks to go to a party and you say sure have fun but, is that really what you should do? To me the answer is no.
Yep, I'm the only person in the world that would call and talk to the parents hosting the party my kids wanted to go to. I know this because my kids have said a hundred times, "Nobody else's parents call". I am also the meanest mom in the world, in case you were wondering.

Starting in middle school, when my kids were invited to parties I got in the habit of calling the parents and introducing myself. I would ask the following questions:

  1. Is there anything my child can bring? A batch of cookies? (This makes you seem like a nice person and not the over protective mom you really are.)
  2. Are you going to be home during the party?
  3. Are you going to be monitoring the party?
These seemed like all the questions I needed to ask, until one of my kid called  20 minutes into a party asked to be picked up because there was drinking. I had talked to the parents and they said they were going to be home and they were- HOME SERVING THE ALCOHOL! I then learned to ask:

  1. Will you be serving alcohol or allowing drinking or drugs at your party?
  • My kids and I spent a lot of time when they were little talking about right and wrong and expectations of behavior. You need to start young in commenting when you see teachable moments. When we would watch TV and something like a kid drinking would be on, I'd comment on how dumb that is and what a bad choice that is and look at what consequences came from that poor choice. Same thing with premarital sex. Comment and teach from the time they are young. If you wait until they are teens it's probably too late to form the "line" you don't want them to cross. 
I really only called until they were old enough to drive themselves. By then they had, for the most part, formed their own moral right and wrongs and I knew that they could size up a situation on their own. Knowing that they would have to see me when they got home and talk to me at the end of a night also helped!

To this day, I  stay up until my kids get home. This gives me a chance to talk with them about their evening and what they did. You learn a lot during those late night chats. 

Last weekend my daughter got home later than usual. She told me that a group of kids had crashed a party she was at. They arrived very drunk and had been told to leave. Because they were too drunk to drive themselves, my daughter took the car keys away from them and drove them home. When she got to each house, she rang the doorbell, told the parents that their kid had crashed a party and was drunk when they got there,  handed over their kid and left. She also got to explain to the driver's parents that their kid had driven to the party drunk, their car was parked at so and so's house and here are the keys. She's going to catch some flack for that but she didn't want to drop them off and have them get hurt if they had snuck back out. I was so proud of her!!!  

My phone calls may have embarrassed my kids almost to death but, they survived it and I think are all glad that I cared enough about them to try and protect them and to teach them.

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