Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Are they ready yet?

My thirteen year old son came and asked me and my husband if he could go for an evening out with his friends to a gaming center. As no adults were accompanying and it was only a group of friends going, we naturally refused to let him go. He was offended big time and he made it a point to let us know how disappointed he was quite forcefully.

Generally till now we have taken them to lots of their friends' place as well as had his friends over at our place where we personally knew the parents. We have let them go out when one or the other parents have accompanied the group of children to an outing and they have had sleepovers at their friends' place. But so far we have never let them go out in a group alone without any adult supervision. Believe me, even at this age they are still a handful and do crazy things when they go out in groups.

Somehow children at this age have neither grown old enough to understand nor are they little that we can hold onto them. At one end children of that age feel quite grown up and act so very mature but the very next moment they bely their age by doing something very foolish. This is but common at this age.

As we have all passed through this phase of adolescence we do understand what they must be going through . I remember the time when my father used to refuse to send us on school trips if it was for a longer duration. Day trips however were fine with him. But we also used to be offended then and thought our parents did not understand us. Now I guess it is our turn to go through this cycle with our children.

However in the current scenario where children are growing up faster and getting exposed to so many facets of life at a very young age as parents I feel it is but natural to protect our children as far as possible. At the same time one wonders if it is overprotection. Where does the balance lie?Are they ready yet to fly out on their own??


Seema Kini said...

This seems to be "Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani" esp. in households with teenage kids. I am often accused of being over-protective as my son is an only child, however, I like to think of myself as a mother with above average intelligence because of which, I think and feel a group of teenage boys without any supervision could turn into something dangerous. However, if you disagree all the time to the child's demand for freedom, it is definitely going to lead to ego-fights. My husband and I have sort of worked out a truce with my son, wherein he understands, that going to the club with friends for basketball and cricket sessions for a couple of hours without adult supervision is alright with parents. The club being two kms from our own house and knowing that coaches from the club are always around. He also knows that his parents will not agree to him spending the same amount of time at a mall on his own, atleast for some more years. Parenting is such a beautiful challenge and keeping yourself, your spouse and the child happy in a trying situation is one of the best juggling acts I have done.

shobhana shenoy said...

Thanks Seema. I agree that most of the time it is a catch twenty two situation with teenaged children at home. We always seem to be doing the fine balancing act.