Booze, boys and other headaches - Opinion - theage.com.au
Parents and teenagers today, I dunno. The article above (from The Age) relates a mother's attempt to "do the right thing" in the way she manages her daughter's party for a bunch of 15 year olds (some 14).
Maybe I will regret some of these comments when the time comes that my children are teenagers, but at the moment, here's how I feel:
1. There are 57 year nine students invited to this party. Seems quite a lot of invitees, doesn't it? Why do school kids, or their parents hosting, want to have a party at which (surely) they don't know a significant proportion of the invitees very well at all? A smaller party is a more controllable party, and 60 people over is pushing the limits.
2. The mother gives up on the idea of banning alcohol entirely, because she has learnt from experience that it will be smuggled in anyway. (And the effort to police a ban is too overbearing.) The end result was allowing each guest to bring "2 or 3" drinks.
She seems well intentioned, but isn't this attitude just waving the white flag of parental responsibility way too early? There are 14 year olds at this party. What parent should care that a 14 or 15 year old resents going to an alcohol free party? What 14 year old should expect to be able to drink at a party?
3. The limited alcohol option fails anyway, with a few impostors getting drunk, a fight (apparently not alcohol related) and some damage to the house.
What is it with this teenage party gatecrashing phenomena? It puzzles me in several respects. What's the typical reason the gatecrashers want "in"? Because they were not invited and they want to prove a point? What sort of point would that be usually - fail to invite me and I'll come and smash up your house (or your friends)? Is it that they don't want to go to the party at all, but are just out to pick fights with someone they know there? Or is it that it is because some parties are alcohol free-for-alls that is the attraction?
Anyway, it's a disturbing thing that parents these days live in fear of gatecrashing teens. I expect, however, that parents allowing consumption of alcohol is not the way to reduce the likelihood of it happening.
Teenagers: you don't run the world. You have decades ahead of you to drink. You can wait.
Parents: when did you start letting teenagers set the rules? You don't have to be buddies with them. Make yourself unpopular for a change.