Wisdom Wednesday: Prom Problems and Teen Social Gatherings

May 21, 2008 at 7:54 am | Posted in 1, attitudes, children, dads, Families, Family Time, Fun Activities, GEM Parenting Secrets, Health, How To, marriage, moms, Mothers, parents, peer pressure, relationships, Safety, Self Esteem, siblings, teenagers, teens, Tweens, Wednesday Wisdom, Welcome | 1 Comment
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Prom Problems and Teen Social Gatherings

Teen gatherings have always been one of those problems that parents have a hard time dealing with.  How do you allow teens to gather, keep everyone safe and legal, as a parent not being part of the party, and still know what is going on and be responsible for what is happening at your house?  And what do you do when your teen is going someplace else?  Is there any way to guide without clipping your teen’s wings?

That is some tall order, especially now with the Internet adding to the mixture.  First, I want to share some ideas to help you that are tried and true.  Then we will touch on how to incorporate them into wireless communications. 

When teens gather they want to be independent, yet they are either not of legal age or mature enough to be totally in control of their gatherings.  Rather than let your teen just simply have a gathering, start with guidelines, hard and solid rules, and talk about issues that might come up.

You as the parent pick the rules.  Ask your teen if there are any that he/she wants to add.  Sometimes they do surprise you.  Here are a number of rules to pick from.  You do not need to have all the rules for every party.  But it is good to have the list in front of you when you are discussing your own rules.  This way it is not just you, the dumb parent, who is laying down the law.

  • Nothing illegal at the party. Abusers will be asked to leave.
  • An invitation list with a maximum number of guests. To be determined, written on a hard copy (that means printed or written out), a specified number of hours before the party begins- I suggest 24 hours.
  • Only guests on the invitation list. Party bashers will be asked to leave.
  • A beginning and ending time of the party.
  • Backpacks and other carry-ins to be placed in public space.
  • Parents will NOT participate in party unless requested by own teen.
  • Parents will interact/be around and visible during party.

With these as hard rules, you can have guidelines that bring the teens to be responsible for having their party be one of distinction and finesse, as well as be all-out fun and awesome.  Let your teen choose a partner who is both reliable and responsible to help plan the party.  Have real paper invitations.  This is of course more work, but this does mean that your teen actually invites who he/she wants to.  These can be quick copies from your home printer, passed out by hand.  Have your teen put the individuals’ names on the invitations.  You can have a theme party.  And I can tell you from personal experience, your teen will balk and cry and just walk away at the idea.  But when you actually have the party, everyone will have a blast. 

Guide your teen to understand that having a large group is both a privilege and a responsibility and the responsibility is all on your teen’s shoulders.  But now in most states it is also the parents’ responsibility.  Let your teen know this fact; there are many states and towns that hold the adult legally responsible for what happens on their property.

As I mentioned, there is the issue of the Internet now.  Let your teen understand that gatherings at your house, even if shared through the Internet, are going to be set in hard copy.  The Internet is a tool to communicate, but it does not have to be a tool to have your house trampled by hundreds of teens.  Be aware- there are regular confirmed reports of teen parties with Internet invitations that have five hundred or more teens show up!

And through all this you, as the parent, can have fun.  Relax and enjoy the good friends your teen has.  Remember, soon your teen will be an adult and have these parties completely on their own.  This is your chance to help them understand why and how to have a good time, yet stay within personal boundaries.

 

Grace E. Mauzy, MA works with overwhelmed, stressed parents having difficulty comfortably cope with parenting. Parents learn positive intervention utilizing strategies and tactics to develop high self-esteem in children. Grace is the founder of GEM Parenting – an online community dedicated to parenting with passion, purpose, and integrity. (GEMParenting.com) Through Grace’s professional and personal life experiences, she has a unique ability to understand and empower parents to implement new parenting styles, allowing them to challenge themselves to break free of their destructive behaviors and attitudes.  And raise their children with confidence, peace, and harmony.  To learn more about her powerful speaking, coaching, and workshops, or to receive Grace’s motivating audio course “The 7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats – And How You Can Avoid Them!” visit http://www.7deadlymistakesparentsmake.com or visit http://www.GEMParenting.com.

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  1. […] Dave Bender wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThis is of course more work, but this does mean that your teen actually invites who he/she wants to. These can be quick copies from your home printer, passed out by hand. Have your teen put the individuals’ names on the invitations. … […]


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