Unlicensed and Unsupervised Partying?
As a teenager I didn’t party much. In fact I hardly ever went out because my parents were very strict with me. Going to places like Carnivore on a Saturday night were taboo because of one glaringly obvious reason – I was under 18. The other obvious reason was that my parents didn’t want me going out to clubs to party and I never questioned that. How could I? I knew the answer would be a no and I’d probably be slapped by mum if I dared disobey.
These days, things are different. Today we are parents and our children are asking us to go out and party. Many friends who I have spoken to about this say they’re ok with their children going out to party as long as they know where they are and a curfew is agreed on. I have major issues with this and have often been labeled old-fashioned. I don’t care if I’m old-fashioned but I do know that there is a reason why you’re not allowed into clubs and hence the age limits. First of all, with alcohol being readily available, if not from the shops then at home from the stock the parents keep, some children abuse alcohol at a very early age.
Some parents think it’s ok to introduce under-age drinking to their children because they think that if you let them drink now they will not abuse it later on. I find such an approach bordering on delusion. Basically you are breaking a law by allowing an under-age child to drink alcohol – it doesn’t matter if it’s your child or not. On top of that if you were in a country that was very strict about child laws you would have had your child taken away from you by social services and put into foster care. What lessons are you teaching your children by allowing them to drink when they haven’t reached the right age?
When you give your children too much too soon, you spoil them rotten. Giving in to every demand of your child is actually stupid. You argue that you never had these pleasures at their age, so you will not stop when your child asks for something because you are internally fighting your demons. Go for counseling, get a grip on life and don’t live your life through your children. I hear horror stories from parents when their children go for sleepovers. Why on earth would you let your children invite friends over and then you go out to party and leave them without adult supervision?
Teenagers think it’s uncool to hang out with their parents but that’s their problem not yours. If by staying in the same house without invading their space you are keeping an eye on things, in my books I deem you a good parent. First of all it’s your home, the children who come stay at your home become a responsibility. Would you be ok to let your children go out at someone’s house under the ruse of a sleepover and then find out from elsewhere your child had gone clubbing? What if there is an accident? What if your daughter gets raped? What if your son’s drink gets spiked and is blamed for something horrible? The possibilities of something going wrong are endless.
Wake up, people. Stop being only a friend to your children. Be their parents too. They will have friends coming and going from their lives forever but will have only one set of parents to instill what’s right and wrong in them and to guide them unconditionally with tough love to make them decent grown ups. Take heed. Your children will some day thank you profusely for this.