Letting Your Teenagers Hang Out

Posted on November 30, 2007. Filed under: Family Life |


What are your rules for letting your teenagers hang out?

Whenever my teenager daughters want to go to a friend’s house — whether it’s for a party, to hang out or spend the night — I remind them about our basic rules for going to someone’s house:

  • There needs to be a responsible adult somewhere in the house.
  • I need to know who else will be in the house (specifically, boys).
  • I need to speak to their friends’ parents to confirm the plans (thus avoiding the old “my friend and I are going to say we are spending the night at each other’s house when we are really going to hang out” routine).
  • If they ever feel uncomfortable in any situation, at any time of day or night, if they call us, we will come to get them.

Am I being too strict or overprotective? I don’t know. But I can blame it on my own adolescence and the fun I had getting into my friends’ parents’ liquor cabinets, combined with my adult realization of the trouble I could have gotten into. These rules also simplify my decision because my daughters already know what information I need in order to let them go. Whatever the case, I hope these rules will help us avoid a lot of bad situations that can expose my daughters to alcohol and drugs.

There’s no way to avoid boys since my daughters are in a co-ed school, but I am working on it—really.



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2 Responses to “Letting Your Teenagers Hang Out”

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I know this is an old post but wow, I wish my parents were like that. I’m 17, I rarely go out and I would NEVER drink or do drugs just on personal principle. I wish I could go out more, even if it’s to hang out in the library with my best friend (seriously.) You are an awesome, responsible parent, so thank you!

Thanks travwell. I doubt that my daughters would agree with your assessment, but I do appreciate your support. As for your own situation, ask your parents what concerns them most about you hanging out, and see if you can come to some agreement about a set of rules that would give you more freedom. It may not work, but it’s worth a try. Plus it shows your parents that you want to hear what they have to say and want to respect their rules. Good luck.

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    Musings on how a disorganized woman with a full time job, three kids and a real need to relax is trying to make life simple.

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