Teenagers Getting Away From Home

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Teenagers Getting Away From Home
18
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 11:47am
I don't mind so much their going to friends houses and such as I do the last minute nature of their requests to do so. Five o'clock on a Friday night and they're coming to me with this plan or that plan that requires us to juggle too much too quickly and the rest of the family has to wait while we do.

I've decided to 1) put it in their hands - they get whatever time they want away if they follow the rules and 2) provide some incentives to planning their time better.

This goes into effect in our house beginning with the end of the school year.

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Rules Governing Going Out

1) All requests for time out of the house must be in writing at least 48 hours before the requested departure date/time on the required form (copies attached).

2) All requests for time out of the house must be for 24 hours or less door-to-door.

3) All requests for time out of the house must be limited to one overnight stay away per teenager per calendar week (Sunday to Saturday) maximum.

4) Blanket requests for repeating events may be made on the appropriate form, but all rules apply to each instance of repeating events that apply to ad hoc events except.

5) Any request for an exception to these rules will be accompanied by a forfeiture of $5.00 and must have approval of both parents.

If the first four rules are met, and there is not a planned (known or otherwise) family event in conflict with your proposed time away, we (the Parents) will allow you (the Teenagers) to control when and where you get time away from the family. If you need to invoke rule 5, we reserve the right to say "No" without having to justify our decision (planning your time effectively is a life lesson that you need to learn – earlier is better than later – this system provides some incentive for you to do so and to encourage your friends to do so).

If we (the Parents) have to change your plans at the last minute and cancel an otherwise rule-following time away from home, the $5.00 forfeiture will work in reverse – there is justice in that as well.

All other rules regarding behavior, dating, substance abuse and anything else are still in effect and the privilege of your being able to use this system may be revoked if you violate them, however until and unless you do, we will assume that we can, in fact, trust you to behave yourselves away from home in a trustworthy manner.

If you agree to these terms, please sign and date below:


____________________________ _____/_____/__________

Teenager


____________________________ _____/_____/__________

Teenager


____________________________ _____/_____/__________

Mom


____________________________ _____/_____/__________

Dad

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Ad hoc Time Away From Home Notification/Request

_________________________________________

Name

_____/______/______ ______:_______ AM PM

Date and Time I Want To Go

_____/______/______ ______:_______ AM PM

Date and Time I Will Be Back

________________________________________________________________________

Where I Want To Go

________________________________________________________________________

Why I Want To Go There

________________________________________________________________________

Who I'll Be Going With (paying particular attention to what adult will be supervising me)

________________________________________________________________________

How I'll Get There

________________________________________________________________________

How I'll Get Back

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Scheduled Time Away From Home Notification/Request

_________________________________________

Name

Describe the nature of the schedule away time, if necessary attach a printed copy of a calendar with all events related to this schedule marked with departure and arrival times:

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

Who I'll Be Going With (paying particular attention to what adult will be supervising me)

________________________________________________________________________

How I'll Get There

________________________________________________________________________

How I'll Get Back

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 12:51pm
OMG!! Are you serious??? I know you have a lot to juggle with all of your kids (and I only have 1 who makes those same kind of last minute requests) but I can't even get my kid to do his homework!!! I could never, ever imagine trying to enforce something like this. I would have a stroke or a heart attack trying!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 1:08pm
Deadly serious. With 5 kids, it only takes one with some oh-I-forgot-to-tell-you last minute change of plans to screw things up for everyone.

Actually, this backs off the current rules which require notice by 6:00 p.m. Wednesday of any plans between then and the following Saturday (3 to 10 days out). That plan didn't work worth a hoot because their friends can't plan longer than to their next pee break.

And they can cover 90% of their time away from home for band, baseball, softball and such by filling out the second form and attaching a calendar.

We're not psychics, we parents. If they don't tell us what they're doing, we can't plan to make those things successful, or even possiblem, and I don't recall signing on to be anyone's personal servant. Even if parenting *does* mean 18 years of indentured servitude, I still have to know what's going on with each of my little "masters" so that I can serve the other "masters" well.

I don't think I'm asking a lot - let me know what you're doing two days in advance and you don't have to ask permission, you just have to notify me.

It'll be good practice for when they're in the working world and have to account for their time with a boss who's going to be far less accomodating than we are.

No strokes, no heart attacks. My kids will take this well and use it correctly. We've already discussed it and there are two clauses in this little "contract" that came from them (the reverse $5 thingy if we cancel one of their plans and the "someone's always home with mom" thingy). They're great kids and they understand completely that I'm not trying to control them with this - I'm trying to give them control I currently have in a way that still lets me do for them what I can without messing up everyone else's summer plans.

Firefly

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-23-2003 - 8:57am
This seems a bit extreme to me. If your teenager comes last minute and needs a ride somewhere and it doesn't fit your schedule then the answer is no, that's quite simple, why do a whole permission slip contract thing? on the other hand I don't see the problem with giving them a ride to a last minute thing if you have time....what's the big deal?

My parents always weighed each situation, I never had a set curfew for example, that was set from occasion to occasion, and from when I was 15 I set it myself, they just had to know where I was and how I got home (I was usually on my bike). They raised me to question "because I said so" and to always expect an explanation for a decision, I'm sure that they sometimes regretted that, but it has served me very well in my job as a consultant.

What's wrong with a little flexibility? That's how it works in the real world.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-23-2003 - 9:11am
That "little flexibility" has been coming at the expense of planned and scheduled activities for the *other* kids. When kid one says "Oh, the coach called three days ago an moved tomorrow's make up game from then to tonight at 5" and I have a conflict, how do I resolve it? By saying "no" every time? I'm trying for more flexibility than that by giving them a channel to get that information to us in time for us to react to it *without* saying "no".

All I'm asking for is some notice - they can do what they want, but I need to know two days in advance so that we can make arrangements - we have one car, one (effective) driver, and 7 people.

The form is kind of a joke in our house - they asked what did they need to tell me when they gave me notice - I said I'd give them a form, but it does spell out very nicely what I need to know, at a minimum, about where they're going.

And the gist of this is that they *don't* have to ask permission as long as they're within the guidelines, they just have to let me know what they're doing.

Firefly

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2003
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 4:40pm
APPLAUSE APPLAUSE APPLAUSE

It's great that you have come up with such a sensible and workable solution in the midst of what must be absoulte bedlam at times. I will be using this.!

Nice to see you can still have a sense of humour too - it must be harrowing to say the least and it's much better to laugh than cry. :o)

Lynette

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 5:13pm
Actually I meant to update this, but I've been away from the boards dealing with a death in the family (wife's grandma - they were very close).

We changed this - my 2nd SD took my list, added 10 *more* rules (in her words, she wants to bypass *any* misunderstandings about where, what, when, why and with whom), scrapped the forms (but added a 60 day at-a-glance dry-wipe calendar and sticky notes in different colors for each teenager), and voila! we have a system.

She killed one of my rules and I killed two of hers. The rule of mine that was killed was the 48 hours notice thing - if there is no conflict on the board, and they don't require our support for a visit, they can do it on a moment's notice. She had that they had to call us for any unplanned deviation from their away itinerary more than 15 minutes and I said as long as you come and go when you say you will and don't break the rules otherwise (no sex, no drugs, no alcohol, no crime, no smoking), I didn't really need to know every stop they made on the way to the mall. The other one had to do with not being allowed away time with kids we've told them are trouble - I told her they were allowed to be with whoever they wanted, but that if they broke the rules (and we *will* find out), their away privileges would be summarily revoked. I left it up to them to decided if they wanted to risk that by spending time with friends who are trouble.

So far we've had two sleepovers on no notice (one for each teenager), one trip to the pool, one trip to Holiday world and one trip to a graduation party and *no* hysterics or cancelled plans for anyone else.

Seems to be working.

Firefly

Avatar for arwen12
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2003
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 8:38am
To quote my daughter ...

Awesome!

You rule!

You're the BOMB!

Excellent!

PheNOMenal!

COOL!

First-class Dude!

What a great way to solve a problem!

ps - can I steal your solution for our house?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 8:45am
Sure. That's why we share here, isn't it?

Firefly

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 10:15am
Holiday World? Cool you must not be too far from where we are.Unless of course you allowed the kids a really big road trip LOL.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2003
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 8:44am
Well I definately can relate to the inconvenience of those last minute request. My daugther used to not make plans until Friday night after school. We live in the country and believe it was a big pain in the you know where. I didn't use a form but I did discuss how much better it would be to plan by Friday what was going on Friday night.

We live in the country so it's about a 15 minute drive to town and 30 minutes to the closest small city. When the kids were in public school all the moms helped out with rides there and back to the show or whatever was going on in town. I know certain moms did more than there share. Then as the kids entered high school and split off into seperate groups it became more difficult. My one neighbour/friend refused to ever drive back home because she had worked all week. Well so had I. I wasn't expecting her to do it every week just her fair share. Her husband never did because he liked to come hom and have a few beers friday night. I held my tongue but I got so frustrated. It was to the point that two girls down the road wanted to do something and there parents wouldn't drive and they would call my daughter and invite her and oh by the way you have to drive. I think this is in part why she no longer likes having girl friends. Boys aren't so manipulative I think. My particular friend who hated driving ended up moving further out in the country. So now she has a extra 20 minutes on top of the 15 minutes. Her daughter didn't get to go anywhere because I just wasn't going to drive out there to get there. It was a big issue with me. Now this kids drive themselves so now I'm free to do whatever I want. (please remind me what that is) I miss driving the kids places somewhat. I liked my daughter's friends and it also gave me the opportunity to know what her friends were like.

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