Fewer things are harder in life than being a teenager. One of those things happens to be being the parent of a teenager. Oftentimes friction occurs between parents and teens over no issue greater than authority. ‘Fighting the machine’ is simply ingrained in the teenage psyche. With a holiday like Halloween, there’s no more suitable occasion to lay ground rules for your teen–for their own safety as well as your peace of mind. Here you’ll find some handy suggestions on how to properly approach and manage your teenager for Halloween.
1. Keeping In Touch
The near universal ownership of cellphones may bring with it some headaches, but one great advantage is the ability to communicate with your children while they are out- be it trick or treating, at a Halloween party, or simply hanging out with friends. Make it imperative that your teen stay in touch with you by giving the occasional call.
The best way to avoid an argument with your up-and-coming child is to make it clear why you are imposing rules. Explain that it is purely for their safety that you want them to follow these guidelines. Simply commanding them to follow your words without discussion breeds contempt for not only rules- but you.
Sometimes teens fall under the impression that Halloween is the one night of the year that they can be out until nine o’clock… in the morning. Make it absolutely clear to your child that you want him or her back by a certain time. From ages thirteen or fourteen, a limit of 10:30 is acceptable. For ages fifteen and sixteen, 11:30 is a more manageable time frame. For a responsible seventeen or eighteen, midnight or a little later isn’t exactly unreasonable. Remember- just because Halloween is a holiday encompassed by fun and candy doesn’t mean your child can’t get hurt or in trouble while out enjoying it.
As an experienced parent you probably have some exposure to bargaining with your kids. Approach them with a slightly stricter Halloween policy with the secret intent to be more lenient at their protest. Though a little underhanded, this does give the illusion of control and influence. Your teen walks away satisfied with the result and you can rest easy knowing they still have guidelines to follow for their security.
5. Don’t let them go alone!
Every teen reaches the point where being seen with their parents is a catastrophe that rivals excess pimples or Pearl Harbor. If they don’t want you to accompany them while out on Halloween, make sure to send along one of your teenager’s trustworthy friends or perhaps an older sibling or cousin.