Halloween. Do you enjoy it? Maybe you did when your kids were young, but now . . . everything’s different. Your son uses it for an excuse to go out and drink with his friends – or worse. Your daughter plans to sneak off and meet up with that boy you know is bad news, or smoke pot with her friends while they’re out trick or treating.
Now you dread the night. If you’re child is a minor, you feel like you have to be the police or the bad guy – again. Your child will treat you that way when you have to ask those annoying, oh-so-hard questions: “Who’s going? Where are you planning to go? Are you going dressed like that? When will you be home? Who is __________?”
Then there’s the oh-so-tough boundaries you have to remind them of and enforce, even if you don’t feel like it: “No, you can’t go there. I’d rather you not go with them. No, you can’t ride in their car. You can do this . . . but you can’t do that. This isn’t the best idea . . . that sounds risky . . . work on making another plan, please.” Ugh.
Be sure your rules, expectations, and consequences are clear and mutually understood. A good idea is to write them down and agree on them ahead of time.
It’s because you love them that you do these things. You want to keep them safe. If only you could.
You do everything you can think of or that you’ve heard others have done. Sometimes it works. Other times it doesn’t. It’s a crap shoot.
Will something happen? Will your phone ring late in the night when they don’t come home on time? Could there be bad news on the other end? We never know.
An older, wiser parent once told me, “Our kids are so smart. One way or the other, if they want to badly enough, they’ll find a way to do that thing you’re trying so hard to protect them from.”
Thanks a lot. That’s not what I wanted to hear.
Here are 5 tips that helped me: