I've reached a pivotal moment in my motherhood journey. DRIVING. Yes, its that time. My little baby (because that's what she will always be) has reached the age where her peers have cars and she will soon to follow this fall. Just this week one of her best friends got her license and her car and just like that “Mommy, can I go with Kayla to Chick Fil A?” The gut wrenching anxiety I felt was all so consuming. I took a moment and I had to breathe and think. Although I am not ready for this, this is part of the journey. My gosh, I finally feel all those feelings of anxiousness my mom must have felt when I began hitting the road with my four wheels.
So Let’s Dive Into What This Is Really About...Age appropriate “FUN” for teens.
I will start with sharing, parenting is tough. Everyone must do what they feel is in the best interest of their child and their home. My suggestions are just that. Now let’s dive in!
The teenage years can be tricky because what I allow my 16 year old to do is not necessarily the same for my 13 year old. However, using your parenting discernment is important when dictating the amount of freedom you allow those early teens to have.
Mall Madness - Going to the mall is probably one of the first “outings” parents allow their teens to have unsupervised. Some parents will stay on site and some will do a “drop off pick up” arrangement. Nevertheless, the mall is a safe activity however, it's important that friends stick together. Stress to your child wandering off from their friends is not a wise decision. It's important to stay together at all times, including bathroom runs.
Carnivals and Fests - This is for those older teens. Again stressing to your teens the importance of staying together and keeping a phone charged and being aware of their surroundings is important. Also, reminding them to keep a couple extra dollars for an emergency is key as well.
Sleepovers - Tricky. Making sure a parent is not only at the home but meeting them is important as well. We all know teens will test the waters. I teach my girls to remember boundaries and pack pajamas that keep them fully covered. Wearing shorts or gowns is not permitted and wandering about the home during the night hours is not acceptable. Oh and no co-ed. Although, I will say you have to trust and pray.
House Parties - MEET THE PARENTS. My teen wanted to attend a party only for me to arrive with parents nowhere to be found. I politely asked for parents and when I found out they were not around I immediately left. However, as long as parents are present I don't see a problem. Supply your teen with a code word that they can text or call you with to signal they are ready to be picked up or ready to go.
Concerts - This is a little different from festivals however, it is the same concept. This is where you use your best judgement as well. While this hasn’t happened yet for me I am in a place where I would allow this for my sixteen year old. My younger teen, I am personally not comfortable with it just yet.
Bowling & Skating - These are those introductory activities for teens as well. These are typically, drop off and pick up outings. Although, skating rinks are far few and in between right?
Restaurants - It's a no brainer that teens enjoy food. If you wish, you can sit at the bar but typically, I drop off and pick up. Again, remind your teens about the importance of sticking together and being respectful while in public dining places.
Look mamas, its challenging. Just do your best, pray often, use your best judgement and grab a glass of wine.