I have a wonderful friend who once referred to her teenage son as “The Hormone”. I always found that funny, so I am borrowing it here. (it’s not plagairism when I give credit, right?)
This weekend I had the thrill of going to Blogworld and New Media Expo in Vegas. In the name of being supportive and probably because he was in desperate need of a mini-vacation, my husband joined me for the trip.
This left my 16-year-old ‘in the zip code’ without us.
Of course we did not leave him home alone, we are not friggin’ stupid!
Honestly, it is not about lack of trust. Danny is a very responsible, driven, respectful teen. He is busy and manages his time well. He respects our home and our rules and knows how we feel about a party in our house when we are not there.
But there is one detail that can’t be ignored: He is a teenager for G-d’s sake! And it is unrealistic to ‘trust’ not him, but the community at large, because the temptation of an empty house is simply too great.
I am not talking about traditional trust. Let me coin a new phrase here in terms of teenagers:
Definition: Your parents are out of town and all your friends know and they all text and IM faster than you can clean up the puke. 5 kids become fruitful and textify and the next thing you know there are 30 kids. Who in turn become fruitful and IMify and then there are 100 kids.
And of course the kid never really had a premeditated idea to throw a party, just to have ‘a few guys over’.
I joke but this is a very serious problem facing parents of teens. More so today than ever as the laws in some states have moved in favor of prosecuting the absentee parents in some insanely harsh ways.
Do I think this bad? Yes and no. Someone has to stop the madness and hold parents accountable. But I don’t believe a solid family that makes a poor judgment call should lose their home or professional license for that poor decision. After all, don’t we tell our kids that they are not bad, they just make bad choices.
I guess it is the serial offenders that get to me. Every town has these homes. Where the parents know it goes on week after week, even when they are out for the evening, and they look the other way. Or worse they are home and allow it to go on. Yes, teens will drink and experiment, but do we have to make it easy for them?
Would love your thoughts here. (THIS should be interesting)