The following post illustrates a creative, response to when your child wants to do something you may not want them to do.
Your Children & Their Friends:
I used to see this
a lot when my boys were older. They would have friends whose parents
were quite strict and would not give permission for them to attend
parties where it was known there would be alcohol and no parental
supervision. On the surface, this makes perfect sense. What responsible
parent wants their child at a party drinking without any adults to
intervene if there is a problem?
However, in refusing their child permission to go, what I often saw was
that same child telling their parent that he or she was going to stay
overnight at a friend’s house. Then that friend would tell his or her
parents that he or she was going to stay at the first friend’s house.
In essence, what resulted was two children out all night, doing God
knows what, without any adult having any information about what was
My approach with my children when they would want to go to a party was
to discuss the things I was afraid of. If they had an explanation for
what they would do to handle the problems about which I was concerned,
then I would generally allow them to go. If they couldn’t address
certain situations, then they would not be permitted to go until there
was a reasonable plan in place to address my concerns.
The main thing I was concerned about was drinking and driving.
Additionally, what would they do if offered drugs? What would they do
if someone showed dangerous signs of having too much? What would they
do if violence broke out or things got out of hand? What would they do
and what did they expect me to do if the party were raided by police?
Over time, we discussed all of these situations so that I was satisfied
that my children could handle them if they ever came up.
This resulted in me having peace of mind and generally, enough
information about where my children were going to be and what they were
going to be doing to satisfy me. It is not an easy way to parent and it
sure doesn’t guarantee that your children will always make the best
What it does do, however, is it stops making you the person your
children have to fight in their attempts to get their needs met. It
keeps your relationship with your children strong and influential. It
allows you, as the parent, to discuss situations and possibilities you
normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to discuss. In addition, it
helps your children to become better decision makers, problem solvers
and to anticipate circumstances before they arise.
This method of parenting is called Empowerment Parenting. You empower your children to make good decision through discussing your concerns and you are empowered because your children will talk to you about what they are doing and thinking. Additionally, you are empowered because you don't have to worry as much since you know your child is prepared for many eventualities.
If you'd like to learn more about our Empowerment Parenting Home Study Course, click here.