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Parents of the HS Class of 2017

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Replies to: Parents of the HS Class of 2017

  • NovimomNovimom 129 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hmm. Going to a party when I don't know the kid hosting would not go over well with us. It would make me uncomfortable - I would have at least wanted to talk to the parents, like you mentioned in your previous post. I might not have let him go.

    One issue might be that limits that I have arbitrarily and unilaterally set don't seem to be well tolerated these days, even for my 13 yo. Perhaps a heart to heart when he gets home, or even tomorrow? Find limits that mutually make sense?

    Here is an example of a reasonable limit I might propose - when he goes out in the morning, he needs to tell you where he is going and when he is coming back... if there is a change in plan, he needs to check in with you to make sure it is OK? That way, if you had made plans expecting him to come home, he is respecting you by keeping to his previous word.

    Also, that is a reasonable expectation not just for a 13 year old, but for any adult. Experts recommend similar guidelines for campers going to the backcountry. And when you're sending your 13 year old out into the wide world, it may as well be backcountry.

    On a related note - I agree that curfews alone will probably not make much of an impact on typical problem teen behavior issues (sex, drugs, alcohol). Nor is it possible to prevent all harm to our kids by supervision and curfews. Building good communication and trust are probably more important, along with education centered on values and moral reasoning with your kid.

    It's tough. Not easy to share, but we've already had to have a porn discussion with our kids because it's being shared amongst the boys at school. Shocked and disappointed.
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  • sseamomsseamom 4880 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    In a perfect world I would be more free range, as we live a block from a bus that connects to a major meeting point for other routes in one direction and a transit center in the other. But while D may BE 13, she LOOKS about 18, and gets way too much attention from much older men even when she's with me. Seriously-I've been walking next to her and guys hang out of their cars and proposition her! So, she doesn't do public transportation alone from the house. Maybe in a few years? Maybe never?

    She is involved in many activities, and most are actually not within a reasonable bus ride, so we drive her anyway, and her friends are mostly in another town, so we drive her THERE. Basically, it's a few years out that she'd be leaving in the morning and moving around throughout the day, just checking in. Her older sister was doing that at around 9-10th grade, though. That's because she went to a nearby school, we lived on a different busline and her friends were all very close by. It's hard to let go, but basic rules had to be set down and followed for it to work.

    You have to have a series of ongoing conversations-about situations they might encounter, people they'll meet, etc. and how to react. Give them the "you can call me to come get you no questions asked if you're in a jam" speech. That's important-because they know there's always an out if they get in over their heads. And my older D DID use it once, at a party for her swim team where it was mostly older kids and she wasn't comfortable.

    We're not at curfew stage yet, as D goes to bed really early being one of those people who needs tons of sleep. But her sister had to either be home or call if she was running late. If she called I did often let her stay out (we're talking older-16-17 though). At 13, 12 hours out would be more than long enough for me.
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  • CuriousJaneCuriousJane 764 replies56 threadsRegistered User Member
    I feel lucky that we live in a place where I do feel safe with him walking around. We live 2 blocks from a major bus line, and about 1/2 a mile from the subway so he can get almost everywhere. He's just started to feel comfortable with going online and figuring out how to get to places he's never been to before on public transportation, so I guess this is just the beginning. The party turned out to be about 8 kids with pizza, ice cream, and some touch football, and the girl's parents were there the whole time. So, pretty innocent, which is a relief.

    I picked him up at his friend's around 10, and we talked on the way home and agreed to the following guidelines.

    1) Check in when there's a change in location, and keep your phone on.

    2) Either be home by 9 or call me early enough that you can get home by 9 if I say no.

    3) Don't go to people's houses unless their parents are home.

    I figure that's a good start.
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  • NovimomNovimom 129 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Sounds good to me!
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  • ProudpatriotProudpatriot 1538 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    We live in the suburbs so we need to drive S14 most places. He is allowed to meet his friends and have a day together. Sometimes they go the movie theater at the mall and then have a snack afterwards. Sometimes they go the gameroom at the mall. Since they all need rides I usually know roughly where he is.

    He also likes to meet his friends at the park to play lacrosse. When he meets them there they usually stay there because they have their equipment bags with them so it is hard for them to go anywhere that is too far a walk. Sometimes they do walk over to a nearby shopping center and ask to be picked up there. Once they are in a particular area they have a limited number of choices and most of them are appropriate for their age. For example, the shopping center near the park has a pizza place with outdoor tables, a Baskin Robbins and a Starbucks. Those are places where they can go with their lacrosse bags and hang out for a little while. There is also a McDonalds within walking distance to the park.

    DS16 has a drivers license. He has to be off the road by 11PM (state law). When he turns 17 this summer he has to be off the road by 1AM. I allow DS14 to go out with his older brother sometimes but not with other teen drivers. Most of the time they see a movie, go to the gameroom at the mall or visit mutual friends.
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  • sseamomsseamom 4880 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Jane,

    I think your guidelines are fine and you handled it well.

    Proud-I didn't grow up with driving curfews and both of my older kids were 18 when they started driving thanks to our wonderful public transportation. What do kids who work late do or if there is a late school event? Are they just not allowed to drive to these things at all? It must set up a whole different dynamic for school events and jobs. My own teen life would have been radically different since we had no public transportation and I worked nights at my dad's store-driving deliveries.

    If I could not have been driving or have other kids in the car we would have all sat home in our own houses. Most of our parents had little kids at home and couldn't drop everything to drive us everywhere. Not to mention jobs. And if there is more than one teen with more than one place to be, what then?

    I do know teen traffic violations and crashes tend to go down in states with these laws but I've never understood how it works.
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  • ProudpatriotProudpatriot 1538 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    What do kids who work late do or if there is a late school event?

    The same thing as 15 year olds. They get a ride.
    And if there is more than one teen with more than one place to be, what then?

    What did you do before they got licenses?
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  • CuriousJaneCuriousJane 764 replies56 threadsRegistered User Member
    Because I've lived my whole life in urban areas, I have trouble wrapping my mind around an environment where a teen "needs" to drive, even though I know that's the reality for most of the country.

    I'm curious though, where does a teen "need" to be after 11 p.m. on a regular basis?
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  • CuriousJaneCuriousJane 764 replies56 threadsRegistered User Member
    That post came out snarkier than I meant. Sorry about that. I tried to edit but apparently I took too long because I failed.
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  • ProudpatriotProudpatriot 1538 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Around here teens don't need to drive. After all, if they survived being 15 without driving surely they can survive 16 without driving. However, most kids eventually want to drive and most parents are happy to give up some of the driving.
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  • sseamomsseamom 4880 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Well, no one NEEDS to be anywhere at any time after school hours. But I lived in a small state with small towns where there was only one HS per town most places or even 1 HS per area. And there was no public transportation. So an "away" game meant driving elsewhere. And if it was a night game, yeah, you'd need to be driving after 11 p.m. And no, we didn't have parents lining up to drive groups of us.

    Before I drove, I did get a couple of rides from parents willing to drive an hour, sit in the cold and watch a game they didn't care about once or twice, but we walked to our home games or we didn't go. We walked to the dances and school events before we got licenses, again, with rare, occasional rides. But once we drove to them, it would mean being out after 11 if you needed to drive a friend or two home, and since we were the hub HS for about three or four towns, we had friends from all over.

    And once I drove, I drove a whole group of us to and from school. I would pick up a couple of kids at a meeting point (with parents' permission of course) and drive down. I guess that wouldn't be possible now. So instead one car making the drive, it would be what-4 or 5? The bus distance limits were pretty far-we lived about a mile away from school and we never qualified for the bus. And New England winters are COLD, and yes, until I drove, we walked. Every day. Both ways, even in sub-zero weather. So driving was considered the end of miserable "commutes" to school for many of us.

    In summers we often went to the drive-ins in large groups-there would be a whole line of cars headed over-they certainly ended after 11, so that would be out now. And we'd drive to the beach, the mountains, to hike, swim etc. Parents just weren't available to drive us in small batches-we all went in whatever car a friend was driving.

    Look, I GET it. I'm just glad-really really glad-I didn't have to grow up that way.
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  • CuriousJaneCuriousJane 764 replies56 threadsRegistered User Member
    Thanks Ssea,

    I really didn't mean that the way it sounded, I was curious but it came out judgemental. You help me form a better picture of life in a community that's different in mine.

    I do wonder if communities that pass these laws find that things adjust to some degree to compensate. If, for example, the norm becomes to go out after the game to a hang out on the bus route. Or if the drive in starts showing movies at 8 instead of 9 so that it keeps the teen business.

    I think it's natural for parents to be more afraid of the unfamiliar than the familiar. To me, letting my kid ride the subway into the city at 13 or 14 seems totally normal, but letting him get in a car driven by another teenager seems terrifying. I'm sure for many families in other parts of the country the reverse is true.
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  • NovimomNovimom 129 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Right now both of those things seem terrifying!

    But most parents I talk to seem quite relieved when their oldest can start taking some of the driving responsibility for the younger kids so I suppose one gets used to it.

    And I think I could eventually wrap my head around my kids going solo on public transportation... As I said, I did it myself as a girl, and I've seen my kids adapt rapidly to the subway when we are in the city.
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  • AgentninetynineAgentninetynine 1539 replies14 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Hi everyone! I'm joining in as my youngest will be entering high school next year. Frankly, I can't even think of starting the college process for him as our oldest child is a rising senior and I have my hands full at the moment.

    But time marches forward and we can either go along quietly like my grandfather or kicking and screaming like the passengers in his car -- as the email joke goes :)

    Based on his placement test, Spyboy is taking:

    Honors English
    Honors Bio
    Honors Geo/Trig
    World History
    French1
    PE/Health
    Religion (much to his horror, but it's a Catholic school)

    We'll be traveling as a family mostly this summer and then he has soccer camp so that's pretty much it until September.
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  • sseamomsseamom 4880 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Jane,

    Most of the towns around where I grew up STILL have NO bus routes! There would be nowhere to hang out at all! Now, of course, most kids didn't drive-those who did drove as many people as would fit in their car-when my dad bought a big van I was the most popular driver of all, lol.

    I don't think there are too many drive-ins left, sadly, but you do kind of need it to be DARK-and you can't change the time of sunset. So that's probably just not done in curfew areas. What I've never researched, though, is where these curfew places are-in cities with plenty of public transportation, a little, or none. That would make a huge difference. Like I said, my older kids and most of their friends didn't even bother learning to drive until after they were well out of HS. When you have buses, ferries, light rail and trollies, you really don't need to.
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  • our2girlsour2girls 531 replies0 threadsRegistered User Member
    CuriousJane – yes, our DD’17 is excited about going to her hs. Her sister, DD’13 is graduating from the same hs in a couple of weeks so it is very familiar to our younger daughter.

    As for new drivers, etc – our state has a graduated driver’s license law that provides for fewer restrictions as the driver gets older. For example, for the first 6 months a new driver can have only one other person in the car that is not related. There are also curfews, but there are exceptions related to if the driver is driving from a school activity or job, which would enable a newer driver to drive him/herself in the first 6 months to a job or school activity after curfew.

    Also, we make sure that parents will be there when the kids go to a party/gathering/what have you. This continues through hs for the most part. Our girls have cell phones and our older D has a curfew…younger’s hasn’t been established because a parent has to drive her/friends around so we are all pretty reasonable.
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  • pigmompigmom 85 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hello everyone, is this for current Gr. 8 kids' parents? OMG, I'm still thinking my daughter is still a little girl. My S13 has been accepted by Columbia University through ED. Only a couple months left and he will be leaving to NY. D17 will become the only child at home. Since we put much attention on S13 and most time ignored D17, we don't even know how she's doing on her school. She just missed two weeks of school because of her trip to New Zealand with Cadets. Her grade becomes low and she's never worried.
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  • sseamomsseamom 4880 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    pigmom-I wonder if your D does not get worried about low grades because she knows you haven't paid much attention to her lately? Was this because you were solely focused on your son getting into the right college? Or was there some other reason? She may actually BE worried but pretending she's not because she's feeling bad about it.

    There is a huge age gap between my two older kids and my youngest (14 and 10 years older). When the now-8th grader was little, of course she got the most attention, and I'm sorry to say, my older ones felt short-changed and did their share of acting out. What helped was my apologizing to them and working with them to find our way to a closer relationship. Perhaps you can use that approach with your D.
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  • ericd1112ericd1112 125 replies18 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    This is moved from another thread I started on this topic until BunHeadMom pointed me to this one. I'm going to go back and try to read through a lot of the post but in the meantime:

    Having just finished the process with our older S, younger S starting HS in the fall, one thing we learned is that it's not only not too early to be thinking about college now, it's essential. Older S really wishes he'd paid JUST a bit more attention as a freshman and sophomore. Another issue was course selection: rigor v. GPA.

    There are loads of experienced parents here. Your thoughts for parents of kids - usually younger siblings I would assume - who are only just starting high school? I have other questions but I'd love to hear what some of our more experienced CC'ers would advise. What about the whole HS course selection thing, i.e. choosing for rigor uber alles or choosing only classes/levels where the kid can reasonably get an A?
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  • sseamomsseamom 4880 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Well, ericd1112, I am the wrong one to ask. My older D got into all of the colleges to which she applied (two very large state U's, 2 smaller, and one private) without a 4.0 GPA, 2400 SAT's or a fleet of AP's classes. She was...slightly above average. Her friends ranged from valedictorian to kids struggling to even graduate due to difficult home situations. Nearly all of them got into a college that suited them-and the val chose our local flagship over the Ivies.

    I would say that unless your kiddo is lazer-focused on getting into HYPS, then he should take classes that challenge him and that he is interested in. He should get into EC's that he enjoys, not to pad a resume. I'm concerned that this generation will look back on the "Amazing Race" to college and think, "Where did my childhood go?"

    My own D's school is so small they do not offer tracks or AP vs. gen ed. If you handle the work, it's there for you, even if they have to send you to the local CC or give you an independent study. It's all project-based learning, and the seniors have so far (of two graduating classes) a 100% college acceptance rate. It's a 6-12 school and the college-career readiness person begins working with the kids in 6th grade. So our situation is a little different.
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