There are some lines that teens use that cross all decades and consistently push parents’ buttons. I must say that teens love to tell their parents that all of the other parents are allowing their kids to go to a coed sleepover, are allowed to go to all the parties, never ask their kids to do chores etc. And, parents wonder who all these other parents are. And, if they are being too strict. After all, all of the other parents are allowing this or that. The sad thing is that many parents of teens don’t know each other because they have less contact as teens drive themselves and become more independent. Things were different in the lower grades when there were more opportunities to get to know the other parents.
I am here to tell you that all of the other parents are probably not as permissive as your kids are portraying them. Some may be but so be it. That is no reason to allow your teen to do something that you don’t feel comfortable with. I am aware, though, that you need some good answers to your teens’ repeated and imploring statements that all of the other parents are cooler, more relaxed and more permissive than you.
Here are some ideas:
1. Our family has different rules.
2. I respect that family but I don’t agree with them.
3. Let me think about it. This gives you time to think about things.
Try to avoid comments like:
1. That parent is horrible because…
2. And, look how poorly behaved their kids are.
3. I never liked those parents anyway.
Try to remain calm with your teens but hold your ground without devaluing anyone.
Good Luck. This won’t be easy!