“My parents treat me as if I am 5 years old, they want to know where I am every single hour of the day, what I’ll be doing, who I’ll be with, when will I be back. If I have being shopping with my friends I have to text them as soon as I’ve done. I am not allowed to any party. I can’t stay up late, and go out with my friends. I wish I had some freedom. Their strictness is suffocating me,” says 16 years old Shweta.
Teenagers need to establish themselves as individuals-in their own minds and in the eyes of other. This quest is not about freedom or a cause for rebellion. It’s about becoming a person of one’s own. Set your boundary limits and no trespass zone. But behave responsibly, so that the no trespass zone is not invaded.
This is an age when a teenager wants some freedom to explore the life and must get it. He or she starts spending more time with friends, watching movies with them or going out for dinner. For them parties means lots of fun, an opportunity to share and make new friends. Parents will negotiate to a limit but no more. Be reasonable in asking your freedom, but do not give in if parents are adamant. Freedom is not easily got and you may have to fight for it. At the same time, freedom without responsibility may hurt you irreversibly, something that your parents will never agree or negotiate with.
Source of worry for parents
Parties are a swamp of peer pressure and anxieties for the kids and a major source of worry for parents. Yet parties really are fun. Relaxing, talking, and generally socialising are an important part of what makes life good. Parent’s job is to be the voice of safety while the kids learn how to have their fun and be responsible too.
There is a fine line when it comes to teenagers and what freedoms they should have, because some of them are immature and ruin their lives at the ages of sixteen and seventeen because parents just didn’t see what their kids were doing, and they were unwilling to interfere into their children’s lives for fear of ruining relationships.
Having parties, being invited to parties and going to parties are all a very important part in the life of a teenager. Most teenagers look forward to them with great anticipation and excitement. Control on teenage parties by responsible adults is necessary. Discuss with your teenager a time when you expect her to be home.
In metros especially there are a lot of teenagers who believes that they refresh themselves in the late night parties. But such behavior petrifies the parents. This is more so for girls. Parents are afraid of drinks, drugs and sex. They do not want daughters getting pregnant at school or college. “Of course, we try not to be suspicious about her going out with her friends and occasionally allow her to go to a party but with strict curfew laws. She has to get back home by 9 p.m, says Radhika, a mother of a teenager daughter. You can maybe try to negotiate the time to 11.pm but you must be careful that you return at least ten minutes before time and never after.
Confidence is required
But Shobha and her husband disagree and are not in favour of giving freedom. “Parties only spoil kids. This is the time to concentrate on studies and plan about their future. Even if they don’t drink, it is not safe to come in the midnight. Girls are not at all safe and the incidents of rape have been increased.” This is rather unfair restriction on girls but girls who want to party must assure parents that they will return before midnight and be escorted by a responsible male friend in a vehicle or have their own vehicle to drive back home before it is too late.
Teen parties can become parent nightmares, where a whole lot of kids want to cut loose, joke around, and flirt, get a little wild, and have fun. On the other hand is the string of worries for parents: What if there is drinking? What if there are drugs? Who are these kids my kid is hanging with? Does my kid really have the confidence she or he needs to resist the social pressure to do things that are unwise at best? Frankly you can feel that it is non of their business, but very few can convince their parents that they will take care of themselves responsibly At the same time it is very important to give our kids the confidence that comes with managing the social world and yet keep them safe?
“Teenage and the resultant transition onto adulthood is perhaps the most important time for you as a parent to extend your guidance, support and understanding to your child. Being open with teenagers about relationships and sex can be difficult – for you and them. But an open relationship will make things better for both of you if something does go wrong. Getting angry or shouting doesn’t help; when you discuss things calmly and without inhibitions, it gives the child the confidence to be able to talk with you.
Then you will be able to explain in a better manner the consequences of parties and too much freedom,” suggests family councilor Vimla Lal. Have a frank discussion with your teens about what you expect of them. Be clear that you want them to have a good time but you also want to be able to relax while they are out in the world. Too much freedom is dangerous, but they need a certain amount of freedom to be able to grow up into an aware and independent person.