It’s my birthday tomorrow and the hubbie and I are off out and are staying over at a posh hotel. We have never left both teenagers alone overnight before. Whenever we go anywhere, they, or our youngest, have always come too. I know that my daughter is 18 in a few months so she is definitely old, mature and sensible enough. Legally, there is no definite age that children can be left overnight. It is all pretty confusing actually but the NSPCC state that no child should be left alone overnight under the age of 16. I agree with this as if there was an emergency, can you fully trust your child to know what to do? I’m not sure my youngest would, although he is very mature for his age in many respects. No, my worry is not that they won’t cope. My worry is that I don’t quite trust them or should I say, I don’t quite trust the teenager in them! My youngest has already asked if he can have a party, a few friends over, his girlfriend to stay…..
What am I worried about? Well there is a list!
1. The ‘friend that pushes every boundary’
There is always one friend in each teenagers group of friends that causes parents to worry isn’t there? The one kid who seems to push every boundary. Luckily, my own children talk to me but relay tales of that kid that has tried drugs or goes to parties and gets so drunk they can’t stand. It’s that friend who, although is a really great kid and comes from a great family, that I don’t want at my house whilst I’m not here! I don’t want broken furniture or sick piles thank you much! I trust that my children are not going to trash my house but will they be able to deal with controlling a fellow teenager that is also their friend?
2. The teenage predator.
I worry about those teenagers who just want to go to a house party; any house party. I call these the teenage predators! I worry that my children will innocently announce that we are away on social media and the next morning the old house will be on every newspaper due to the fact that 4 million teenagers turned up and partied until the police were called! Ok, that probably won’t happen but you do read about that don’t you?!
3. The crisis
I worry that the dog will get sick or the washing machine will spill out 20 gallons of water and my teenagers won’t know how to turn the water off (where is that tap actually?!). Will they burn the house down or leave the doors unlocked at night? Yes, it’s Mum worry
4. Mum worry
I am allowed mum worry after the exploits of my son. I can now talk about Letting go of the challenges of parenting but there have been times when my son has been difficult to parent and trust, to be frank! I left him on a teacher training day once for a few hours. He was 13. Later, I found out that he had been testing out the knives in the kitchen and broken one whilst seeing if he could chop down a tree with it in our garden. He was 13!
5. Mum guilt
Finally, I know that I need to trust my teenagers and anyway, it’s my birthday! So, I will trust my teenagers tomorrow night although I have told them they are not to have any friends over at all! I’ve also told them that this is my birthday and I would hate for them to disappoint me -I know, I know -mum guilt. The best. Parenting. Card. Ever.
PS. It was fine!