Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The Secret Diary of a Teenagers Parent

This blog post is being written off the cuff. No neat editing or thinking about what I could possibly blog about. This is me, sat at my computer simply typing the feelings and frustrations out. The frustrations of parenting a female teenager two months shy of turning fifteen and a teenager who is throwing herself into her life head first with little regard for anything that may be sitting waiting for her to bang her head on.

Why do teenagers feel they could only possibly look good if they are orange in colour, blacked eyes from too much mascara, short skirts and high heels? And why am I always in a constant battle with her?

There is an under eighteens event being held in a pub in our nearest town on Thursday night. She wants to go. All her friends are going. I contacted pub watch or licensing or whoever else I felt could clarify details of this and it is a legitimate event and support by the local Police. I don't understand why everyone feels it's ok to introduce teenage girls (and boys) into nightlife at such an early age. Now she's planning and demanding a dress and has picked out the most ridiculous pair of high heels she wants. I simply do not want her to go. I don't feel comfortable with her going to a pub on a Thursday night (It's half term) when the rest of the pubs are serving adults so drunken adults will be in the vicinity. I don't feel comfortable with the way she is going to want to look when she goes. Yet I feel alone in this. Her friends are going, their parents buying dresses and heels and probably more makeup. If I put my foot down and say no, I am at risk of ostracising her from her friends because she can't join in what they are doing, but if I let her go, I'm seriously not happy, in fact, I'm passed not happy, I'm outright stressed.

I wasn't going to pubs until I was 16 and I know that was still too early, but it just seems so far away from where she is now. She's made terrible decisions this past year. I don't trust her judgement on the safety of situations or for herself. All she is interested in, is how good she could look, in her eyes, and what others will think of her. It's a constant battle. I'm always saying no. I don't want her to enter the world of adulthood yet. It's not the place all youngsters think it is!

This is only going to get more and more difficult the longer it goes on and she gets older. I know there is no magic age where I can suddenly trust her, but she's not ready, she see's life as a big game and party whereas the reality is a little darker.


  1. It certainly is a difficult one. Fortunately my own parents didn't really suffer this problem (as I was a bit of a loser at high-school, and had few friends) although I'm sure they had similar dilemmas to deal with concerning raising me.

    I suppose it's a tricky balance between allowing them to make their own mistakes, yet protecting them from larger mistakes from which there is no going back.

    Perhaps a balance could be struck, involving dropping her off outside and picking her up afterwards. As alien to me as the whole concept of 'going out' in your early teens is, I still think it's important to engage with her, and allow as much freedom as possible. However, not being the mother of a teenage girl, I realise that my opinion certainly carries much less weight!

    I have a feeling I may now be rambling slightly, but these are my haphazard thoughts.

  2. At least if they're in the pub surrounded by adults they're more likely to act more responsibly and grown up than if they slope off drinking on street corners with no-one watching over them.
    She needs to go, and make her own mistakes and cringe later over decisions she made.
    In my experience they're a lot more responsible than we tend to think they are.

  3. It sounds similar to the No Name events that are run locally here.

    I'd let her go but lay down ground rules. That would include a say in the clothes she wears. I'd also be dropping her at the door, and I'd be the first one waiting outside when the event is over....probably because I wouldn't go home after dropping her off!

    I'm a horrible mother. :)

  4. Thank you for your comments.

    Jonathan - to say that you don't have kids, you still have a wise head and some common sense with regards to children. I suppose we never do forget what we were like when we were kids. That's probably why I want to wrap her up in bubble wrap! I wasn't an angel, far from it! But she's not me, she's my little girl.

    A balance has been struck, she is being collected from said pub and I've had it confirmed by a friend whose daughter is a few years older than mine, that when her daughter went to the same events, it was legitimate under 18 and no alcohol was served. She's just walked out the door, looking far too grown up, but I'm untied the apron strings a little....

    Deb, I suppose it is better than walking the streets with bottles of alcohol, which we have had issues of in the past and I think we are through with and I do know it's a legitimate event with the support of local police as well. She has tonight to show me she has some sense in her head. It is scary though!

    Susan - I'm also a horrible mother, I was the last one to say she could go, in fact I'm not even sure I said she could, I think she weedled round her dad! I've got her shoes lower than the ones she wanted, so I won that battle and I've just sent her out the door with a list of rules about not leaving ddrinks unattended, if feeling woozy in any way shape or form to call immediately, he phone is charged. She's not to give out her phone number, address, location etc etc. Lots of rules :)

    I will be glad when tonight is over and she's home safe and sound.

    She looked far too old though.

    Here goes, letting go, even if just a little bit :)