Parental Dilemma

This Friday, D’s friends are planning on spending the night on the park. (D is 14). There will be smoking and drinking – neither of which D likes. There could well be drugs and there will be boys. Because she will not get herself drunk and so ends up being the only one sober and the person who has to act as the responsible one this event will not be a barrel of laughs for her. She does not want to go, but equally, she does not want to say she does not want to go because in that complicated world of teenagedom that will lead to some level of something against her – that probably makes little sense as it reads but cast your mind back eh ?
Next part – we could say that D is not allowed to go out, or out to the park. We won’t though. Partly because we both believe that D is mature enough to decide for herself, and partly because if we did forbid it then if she DID want to go she would be disobeying us – and that’s not a good place to put a kid into. So .. we want to be able to help her out of her dilemma but do so in a way that saves face.
Additionally – we fully expect other kids involved, esp the girls, to tell their parents that they are having a sleepover here. So me and J will be assumed to have responsibility for several girls. This is no dilemma – “No Way” is the answer to this – but it does add to D’s problem in that if the others have all decided that this is what they will say – and bear in mind that we could be lied to by them or otherwise just not enlightened as to what other parents know – then D not going could cause the event to not happen.
She is a popular and intelligent girl who knows – like us – that this a tiny blip, but it can only be a blip with the passage of time. Right now it carries some weight.
See ? A dilemma we have here ……. Saturday will have the resolution written here.

13 thoughts on “Parental Dilemma

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  3. Oh, the joys of parenting. From my perspective, you have instilled a sense of maturity and responsibility in D. Now it’s time to let her demonstrate that she deserves to be trusted. If she blows it, well then you will deal with that as it comes along. I suspect she might have a decent time, since it’s often fun to be perfectly sober and watch everyone else act like a bunch of assholes. Fun can be had without booze and drugs, and our kids need to know that for themselves.

    My oldest son is just turning 14 next month. I can hardly wait for similar situations to crop up here. I’m looking forward to finding out how things go. Tell her to go and have fun and be the responsible kid she is, and if she steps out of line, threaten her with military school! 😛

  4. This has happened to us twice. In one instance, we did exactly as Jennifer suggested. In another instance, we acted like X was going, all the way to the point at which [anonymous teen bunch] was to arrive and pick X up. What we did instead was invite the entire family over for the day. When [anonymous teen bunch] arrived, they saw the whole family, asked for X, and were politely told that “X is busy.” Both worked quite well without any harmful side-effects.

  5. The sick thing isn’t going to stop her friends telling their parents that they’re staying at yours. The only way you can stop that is simply for D to tell her friends it’s not okay. That can only come from her, and it means she might be unpopular for oh, five minutes, until somebody else decides their parents can be the fake alibi.

    Socially, it could be more damaging for her *not* to go, if all her mates are going, because they’ll be talking about it for a week or two and she’ll feel left out if she doesn’t go. Much better for her to go along and just put up with being the “square” who doesn’t drink or smoke. If she really doesn’t enjoy herself, she can go home, it’s better to show her face and show she wants to socialise with her friends than just to avoid it altogether. That’s what I think 🙂

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