Teens' Night Out
I went to the mall last night, even though I hate going there on weekends. My husband, son, step daughter and I, went to the play area to kick off the weekend.
On our way, I saw a group of girls, around 13-14 year-olds, huddled in the corner, laughing hysterically. Across from them, was a group of boys, all with greasy styled hair and really low-waist jeans looking at the girls, making remarks and giving them looks that only made the girls laugh harder, in a flirtatious sense!
On the second floor, I saw a very similar situation. A few meters away, there it was again. It was awful. Any caring mother would shiver at the sight of her daughter behaving in that manner and at the sound of her son using such language. And the thing is, judging from their clothing and appearance, they all seemed to come from good families.
I think there is a huge difference between teaching your child that it is ok to be friends and go out with the opposite gender and between what was going on last night.
Last night, it was about flirting, exchanging numbers, and doing something that is wrong, at a considerably young age. And, I saw it more than once.
I often hear mothers say that they want their daughters to be liberal and to have fun (in a way that they, themselves never got to do). Yet, drawing the line, teaching your child self-respect, refinement and class when it comes to behaving with the opposite gender will set the tone for all his/her future relationships.
In fact, since as adults, we respect the respectable, it is only natural that our teens will do the same.
The question is, how do you talk to your children about this? Do you set rules and lay down punishments or do you give them the freedom to make mistakes?
Has anyone tried this?