Parenting comes with its trials and tribulations. You want to be able to give your teen some freedom. You want them to be able to figure some stuff out. But we have to keep them on a leash of some sort and guide them. How do we know what we should and should not allow them to do? I think it just comes down to good old fashioned common sense.
A few months ago, my 14 year old daughter came home from school asking about a party she wanted to go to. The conversation went something like this:
Her: Mom, there is this party this weekend. Can I go? The thing is, the parents aren’t going to be home. Like, I think you should let me go though. So-and-so’s mom is letting her go.
Me: Thank you for your honesty. I appreciate that. But, no. You will not be going to someone’s house party without adult supervision. And you are not so-and-so (ugh that was a major “I have turned into my mother” moment).
Her: Mom, I think you need to trust me. I mean, I’m not going to drink or take any drugs, if they have any of that stuff there.
Me: (holy shit…drugs? alcohol? Lord, help me survive the next 4 years) It’s not a matter of trust. Of course I trust that you will make the right decision, but putting a bunch of 14 year olds in that kind of situation can only lead to trouble.
Her: Gawd mom, I don’t understand what the big deal is!!!
Me: Ok, fine. Then I’m going to call Penelope’s (name changed to protect the innocent) mom and thank her for allowing a party to be going on at her house while she is away. That is super nice of her, don’t you think?
Her: OMG! No mom! You cannot do that. OMG, please don’t do that, I will die!
Me: Well, if I can’t call the mother, then you definitely cannot go.
Her: Never mind.
My kid is smart. So, why do I have to explain this stuff in triplicate? Then I recall when I announced to my mother at this exact age that when I had kids, they would be allowed to do whatever they want.
I wanted to see what she would do in this situation. She is definitely much smarter than I was. Unlike me, she’s a straight A student and has more sense in her head than I ever had in my left pinky toe. Surely, she realizes how stupid her request is.
So, I asked her this: “Honey, put yourself in my shoes. If you were a mom and your teenage daughter approached you with this same question, what do you think you would do?” REALLY dumb question, by the way. Her reply? “Of course she could go, I don’t see what the big deal is.” Duh.
So, it is completely true what all those child psychologists and books say. Teenagers are stupid. Plain and simple. I don’t care if you gave birth to Albert Einstein. I bet his mother thought he was an idiot at 14 too.
As for that little party, it didn’t happen. It turns out I’m not the only parent that is totally uncool. What can I say? We certainly know how to kill a good party. We uncool moms have that effect.