Last time, I shared some thoughts about setting limits for summer sleepovers. But how do we do that in practice?
8-13 years old
Know the families whose houses she’s going to and be sure you’re comfortable with the situations and supervision.Â Give them info about how to contact you if you won’t be home.Â If she has special needs or concerns about a sleepover, ask if the host family is comfortable with that.
- Elly invited you to seleepover-that sounds fun.Â I’ll call her Dad to find out the details.
- I told the Shapiros about your insulin testing and when we drop you off I’ll show them how to help you with it.
Have clear guidelines for her about party situations that are green light, yellow light & red light.Â Be specific about what each type is so she can learn to assess them herself.
- We’ve come up with guidelines about what kind of parties you can definitely go to or defiitely not go to.Â The “yellow lights” are ones we need to look at case by case.
- A “red light” is if there are no adults in the house, there are high school kids there, or kids are drinking, smoking, using drugs or making out.
Welcome her friends to your house at any time.Â You can get to know them and they can get to know you.Â It’s a good indication that your daughter is comfortable with the friends when she brings them home.
14 and up
Continue with clear rules that recognize she’s more mature and put additional trust in her judgment.Â Make an agreement that you will come pick her up anywhere if she calls you and you won’t ask questions about it until the next day.Â If she shows a lapse in judgment, have a clear, reasonable consequence agreed upon ahead of time.
- It’s still non-negotiable that there has to be an adult in the house and no drinking, smoking, drugs or sex going on.
- You need to call us when you leave one place and go to another.Â You need to be home by midnight.
If she does things you don’t want her to, tell her openly and calmly about the concerns or fears you have about it.Â And use the consequence you already told her about.
- I was very worried when you weren’t home by curfew and didn’t call me.Â You knew you were safe but I didn’t.
If you did things as a teenager that you regret, this is the age when it’s appropriate to tell her about your experience and the consequences and why you wish you hadn’t done it.Â Give her the facts and your feelings but don’t make it sound worse than it was.
Words, Phrases and Actions to Use
- I trust you
- You have good judgment in friends.
- Keeping in touch
What Not to Say and Do
Don’t prohibit her from going to all parties.Â Don’t say:
- I know what kind of stupid stuff goes on at parties in junior high.
- No way you’re going.
Don’t distrust her or her friends unless they give you clear cause to do that.Â Don’t say:
- If boys are there they’ll just want to get you drunk.
- You can’t bring those kids in our house-they’ll make a mess.