how much freedom do you give younger teens? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 01-07-2008, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I sometimes wonder if I'm more lenient with our 8th grade daughter because her 10th grade sister has broken us in!!! I still think I'm pretty on top of things, but I do let her walk around the mall with a friend or her sister as long as she checks in with me every 30 minutes via cell phone. I do let her go bowling with friends, or roller skating...without me being there. It's normally for about 2 hours. I also let her go to the movies with friends.
One of her friends, who turned 14 in September, is not allowed to go anywhere or do anything unless someone's parent is there. The kids all make fun of her and have stopped inviting her to do stuff, because her parents come along! Back in November, about 12 kids went to see a movie...and this other girl had a "boyfriend" she just started going with. Her Dad came to the movie and sat the next row up from them. The kids were mortified!
I have wanted to mention to the parents that this is causing the girl to be shunned among the other kids, but I don't feel it's my place to butt into their parenting. I do feel bad for the girl though...she sits home almost every weekend.
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#2 of 18 Old 01-07-2008, 02:15 PM
 
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My 14yo goes to the nearest city by bus for the day with his friends. Sometimes they just shop and eat, other times they go to the cinema. He calls me if they decide to see a film as he'll have his phone off and he always calls when they get on the bus to come home.

For the past 2 summers and every holiday between he has been out from about 11 til 6 most days unless there is something we are doing as a family.

Maybe the other girl's parents have set a time by which they will be happy for her to be out alone and they just haven't reached it yet?
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#3 of 18 Old 01-07-2008, 02:23 PM
 
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I've dropped my children off at the movies with friends There is a teen hsing group and they get together to do things. I am OK with a group of teens at the movies. A parent is alwasy waiting to pick them up when they come out, however. My younger teens also bike around town. They've never asked to do anything unreasonable...That would be something else entirely.
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#4 of 18 Old 01-07-2008, 05:33 PM
 
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Those things sound reasonable to me. My Dd and her best friend (they are both 14) recently went to a mall out of town while the best friend's mom worked at a business nearby. The girls were at the mall for about 4 hours or so, and they shopped, ate, people watched, etc until the mom came back for them. My kids go to the theatre without me, the mall, etc. We discuss what is happening, who it's happening with, where, when and all that good stuff. I give them the same info about me and my activities too- it's about respect and consideration not just about me being the parent.

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#5 of 18 Old 01-07-2008, 05:43 PM
 
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I allow my son to do up to 50 mile bike rides alone as long as he checks in regularly with me on his cell phone and carries some money, food, and an emergency repair kit. We map out his exact route before he leaves so that I can pinpoint his location if I am needed.

He needs to train for his races and I certainly cannot dream of keeping up with him anymore!
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#6 of 18 Old 01-09-2008, 12:27 PM
 
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It depends o the situation. This weekend my dd, 14.5 wants to go to a club downtown (university area)-it is a bar but this is high school band and starts at 8,geared to high school age. I am insisting that dad has to be there,at least for the first time to check it out.
I let her go to movie,during day preferably. Her current bestf, they go usually late like the 9:00 show, usually her family is there. Proper supervison/safety , I try to balance that with desire for freedom/individuation.
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#7 of 18 Old 01-10-2008, 03:56 PM
 
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My 12 yo son goes to the movies with friends and on bike rides around town. But I always know where he's going, what movie, etc. You can also ask questions about the movie to see if they actually saw it.
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#8 of 18 Old 01-10-2008, 05:51 PM
 
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My son is 17, and i am young only 32. I know what teenagers his age do and i guess i cant prevent it. My son always tells me where he is going and if he will be out past 12 he will call to tell me where he is staying or what time he will come home.
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#9 of 18 Old 01-12-2008, 01:59 AM
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I dont have teenagers, but i have a 15 year old sister(going on 16), she catches the public transportation around the area, goes to the movies, mall, walks, park, alone or with her friends. My parents live in Paris. She has to call home every 30 min though.

My 11 year old brother is just allow to bike around the neighbourhood, he doenst have to check though.
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#10 of 18 Old 02-13-2008, 11:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaLisa1 View Post
The kids all make fun of her and have stopped inviting her to do stuff, because her parents come along!
I think these kids need some education in how to be a good friend.

dm
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#11 of 18 Old 02-13-2008, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
I think these kids need some education in how to be a good friend.

dm
that's true....but 13 year old kids have been that way since back when I was that age, so I don't think it's going to stop now. I have talked to my daughter over and over about how talking about people and making fun of them is NOT the nice way to be..and how hurtful it can be, all I can do is hope that she listens to me and that those words ring in her ears. While I agree that the kids aren't being nice, I also think that during a time when kids are trying to exert a little bit of independence, it would be a little irritating to have someone's parents tagging along, and that the parents really need to consider giving this girl a little bit of space.

That said, my daughter is having problems at school herself right now, and I'm hurting inside for her. Middle school girls have to be the meanest creatures around. Some girls were making fun of her yesterday for squealing loudly during gym when a hockey stick almost hit her mouth, and were saying (loudly) how annoying she is and so forth....then another girl was going on and on saying how her converse sneakers were fake because they look different. Target now carries Converse "one star" sneakers...the star on them is a little different, but they look the same without the hefty price tag. Lindsay loved them, and I was happy to not pay $50. I just hate how children who haven't learned to be kind can ruin it for those who are just appreciative to have things. She cries almost every day, and cannot wait for this school year to end, since she is going to a different school next year.
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#12 of 18 Old 02-13-2008, 09:11 PM
 
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For us, it all has to do with the kid. DD is currently taking responsibility and making responsible choices so she has more freedom to ride the city bus to go skiing or to a movie or for tea, whatever. It also depends on the friend she's going with. 6 weeks ago she had nearly no freedoms.
Poor DS is messing up all over the place so the reins are tighter until he shows better judgment.
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#13 of 18 Old 02-14-2008, 11:55 AM
 
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My dd#1 is 14 and she gets as much freedom as I feel she has earned. I think that the amount of freedom depends greatly on each individual...dd has proven herself to be responsible(so far)as a pp said if she screws up the reins will certainly get a little tighter.
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#14 of 18 Old 02-14-2008, 12:49 PM
 
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My daughter is asking for more freedom/responsiblity in the money area. She wants a debit card. I think this is a postive. As she poited out, she will be driving in 14 months. She has shown growth in staying within a budget/impulse control. I think it is a good practice.
I also agree about the particular freind. I trust until there is a reason not to. One of the girls she will be seeing this wekend , I need to put a lot of boundaries and supervison around with my daughter. I am leeting her go to the mall for a few hours with her and then they are going to a movie and will spend the night here.
I tend to allow quite a lot of freedom and work with her a lot on leanring from her choices. Sallie
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#15 of 18 Old 02-14-2008, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaLisa1 View Post
She cries almost every day, and cannot wait for this school year to end, since she is going to a different school next year.
s Lisa... That sounds so rough. Rain hasn't had to deal with much of that, because she's homeschooled - she has a lot of schooled friends in dance but they're very sweet to each other. She was in a play last fall with a lot of girls who were a bit like that, which was kind of ironic since the play was all about how mean teen girls could be to each other - they toured a couple of junior highs and led discussions and stuff. But anyway, being with the girls for a few hours a week for a month is very different than all day every day, and they never said anything nasty to Rain, just stuff about other girls - all. the. time.

Can you pull your daughter out and homeschool her for the rest of the year? I see from your sig that you're homeschooling at least one kid already... it just hurts my heart to think of her going every day to a place where she's treated so shabbily.

As far as the OP, Rain has a cell phone and a debit card and is pretty much free to do whatever she plans, because she has good sense and knows her way around. She just turned 15, but things weren't much different when she was 14, and at 13 she could do all the walking around shopping with freinds that she wanted, and take the bus around. I did recently let her stay home alone while I was out of town for two days and a night, which was sort of a milestone... it was fine. We have good friends who gave her rides to her college class and her dance class, and she pretty much handled everythinbg else.

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#16 of 18 Old 02-14-2008, 05:53 PM
 
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When my daughter was in 8th grade, she was allowed to walk all over town with her group of friends, shop at the mall unsupervised, and go to movies. She also would often spend the day with a friend while her parents were at work (they knew and it was ok), got dropped off at the pool to spend the afternoon, and often went to an evening movie and then walked across the street to McDonald's to spend some more time before a parent picked the girls up and took everyone home. I knew all my daughter's friends, knew their parents, and everyone was on the same page about what was ok and what was not. She handled it fine. My son was also given similar freedom.
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#17 of 18 Old 02-15-2008, 12:57 AM
 
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My dd goes to friends houses around the house. She has gone to dances held at the middle school. I drop her off and pick her up when it's done. She is allowed to go to a movie with a group of friends that are all meeting her there. But, it has never worked out with all of the other kids due to not being allowed (I'm pretty sure). I would be dropping her off and picking her up when it's done. She talks on the phone (a lot!) and I know that she talks with boys. I think she might be "going out" with one in particular but she doesn't share that with me. It just looks like it from her site that has been on the screen when she has given me the computer. (I don't dig for the "dirt") I figure she will tell me when she's ready.

It's to bad that girls are so mean to each other at that age. I remember my dd going through a particularly hard time last school year. I've not heard too much this year. But, I have heard some.
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#18 of 18 Old 02-15-2008, 07:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaLisa1 View Post
I do let her walk around the mall with a friend or her sister as long as she checks in with me every 30 minutes via cell phone. I do let her go bowling with friends, or roller skating...without me being there. It's normally for about 2 hours. I also let her go to the movies with friends.
I do the same with my 13-year-olds. My teens don't have cell phones yet, but their friends do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaLisa1
One of her friends, who turned 14 in September, is not allowed to go anywhere or do anything unless someone's parent is there.
Frankly, I can understand why some parents might feel this way, and I would actually appreciate having a parent around. I know my kids wouldn't avoid spending time with a friend who needed his/her parent along.

As far as freedom goes, I insist on talking with a parent at the house where an event is taking place & confirming that there will be adequate supervision. My kids' friends' parents are the same way in respect to spending time here at my house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaLisa1
I do feel bad for the girl though...she sits home almost every weekend.
That's sad. It's too bad she doesn't have a friend who's happy just to hang out with her at her house, watch movies, sketch, take walks, that sort of thing. When my daughter has friends over, they mostly hang around in her bedroom talking and listening to music.
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