Saturday, May 30, 2009

Just up for this [updated]

Well, I just got a firm talking-to from Gary's Girlfriend's mother.

We have always allowed the teens a degree of privacy. We sort of have a walk-through policy. They have the big rec room downstairs and we are not always there, but we may show up at any moment. When Andrew was here there were so often large numbers of kids playing D&D that we have allowed people to entertain in their rooms, but then only and always with the doors wide open. Gary has been abusing that recently.

It has been a long time since I thought that I was able to supervise kids closely enough that I could prevent them from doing something if they really wanted to do it. They go out into the world unsupervised. Gary has a bus pass. He is allowed to go to the mall without us. He may go to the movies without us. I know that he could easily go somewhere else, be with someone else. He could be doing things I would rather he not do.

I prefer for my kids to spend a great deal of time at home. I want to know them and know their friends. The price for that is a degree of privacy. If I don't give them some privacy with their friends, and yes that includes their girl and boy friends, then they will meet up in other places. If they are here, I can do an unannounced walk-through at any moment. If they meet up at the mall...well...I can't.

Apparently the girlfriend texted a friend telling her that she and Gary were alone. The friend called the mom. The mom called me. She asked me if her daughter was with me, right here. I said no but that I could take the phone to her. I did. I assumed that she wanted to talk to her daughter.

Turns out that she wanted to make it very clear to me that she wants her daughter to be supervised, right there with me, at all times.

I understand. I really do. They have two daughters. This one is the older, not quite fifteen. They want to prevent anything from happening. The only way to do that is to supervise them closely.

VERY closely.

I am thinking that maybe I should tell them that they just aren't allowed to be at our house. I am not interested in chaperoning them. I don't want to spend every minute in the company of two teenagers. If they let their almost-fifteen-year old daughter out of their sight, let her go to the mall, to the movies with friends, for a walk in the park, then her virtue is in danger.

Frankly if "something happens" at the mall, or movie theatre, or Y, or behind the gym, or anywhere, I don't want these parents angry at me because I failed to chaperone their daughter.

I may calm down and change my mind, but right now I really feel like telling them that we suck at being chaperones and they simply should not trust us.

They should not trust anyone.

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The girl's mother has decided the kids can only be together under her supervision. Fine with me. Roland and I agree that we will tell the mom that she should only allow her daughter over here if she is comfortable with the level of supervision we provide: privacy with unannounced interuptions. The mom probably won't be, and that is fine with me.

Part of the issue is, Gary tells me, that the girlfriend told her mom a week or so ago that she probably wasn't going to wait until she got married and might want to talk about going on birth control in a year or two.

9 comments:

  1. They are delusional. I'm with you on this one. At a certain point, you have to accept that kids can't be watched 24/7.

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  2. This sounds like a solution, not a problem. You know that the potential is there, and here is Girlfriend's Mom stepping up and volunteering to be the bad guy for you. Just tell Mom that you don't have time to hang out in the rec room with the kids and that you figure that if they want to do something that they'll probably just find a way to do it, et voila!

    Of course, the result is the standard Romeo & Juliet incentive plan. Make sure Gary has condoms and knows in no uncertain terms that Girlfriend's dad will either kill him or prosecute if she gets pregnant.

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  3. This is totally thier problem, not yours. I wouldn't change anything. If GF's Mom has an issue, let HER make some changes. Everything you are doing is reasonable and there is no reason that you should make changes to the level of supervisation that you are comfortable providing, or rules about who can socialize in your home. Let them deal with it.

    Either that, or just admit that you can't stand the girl (:P) and forbid Gary from ever seeing her again. That ought to solve everything! haha

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  4. Oh, for pete's sakes. For real? It isn't your responsibility. If they don't like their daughter being unsupervised then they better keep her home with her chastity belt on.

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  5. Thanks everyone. I have had lots of thoughts running through my head. The one that seems like the most fun is to assure the mother that I have bought Gary condoms and I trust him to be responsible.

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  6. I am SO not looking forward to the teenage years...

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  7. Keep her w/in your sigh? What an unrealistic expectation…quickies don’t take long (at least not for teens!LOL) so where they so inclined it could happen ANYWHERE and um…rather unnoticeable. She (the mom) should consider herself incredibly lucky that her daughter was brave enough to trust her and come to her seeking protection and not when it was too late.

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  8. I LOVE the idea of you telling her that you've bought Gary condoms. PLEASE do that - okay it's probably mean but I would laugh SO HARD. ^_^

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  9. I feel sorry for the girl. She is trying to tell her parents what she is doing, that she is interested in birth control and the parents think supervising her is going to stop her? There are A LOT of other places that teens have sex besides parents houses. With her having parents like that..I would be surprised if she doesn't end up pregnant before she is out of high school.
    My opinion, better to prepare teens before they have sex, than to have to do the coulda, shoulda, woulda dance afterward with a baby on the way.

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