If you have a teenager you will already have noticed how much time they devote to their friends.
Texting, social networking and email all make it easy for them to keep in touch, and you may have also noticed that you are fast becoming an unpaid taxi driver and a banking service too! Growing up is exciting and our friends are very important to us.
We want to spend time with them and enjoy the same things, but it doesn’t always go according to plan! Try our quiz and see how well you handle your teenager and their friendships! Answers are at the bottom.
1. Your teenager has made arrangements to meet up with some friends after school and go to the cinema. He has asked for some money and a lift home-with just a few hours notice. Do you…
A) Explain that you are not an unpaid taxi service but you are happy to help him-just not tonight-he needs to learn to plan ahead a bit more!
B) Say absolutely no-and tell him to get the bus-that’s what you had to do
C) Change your plans, get to a cash machine and say yes
2. Your teenager comes home from school and demands a new mobile phone because one of her friends has been given one. She only had a new one a couple of months ago. Do you…
A) Tell her to stop being ridiculous! She knows she is trying it on and if she really wants one that badly she will have to save up!
B) Shout at her and tell her not to be so stupid and spoilt
C) Ask her which one she wants and how much it costs
3. Your 16-year-old daughter wants to go to an all night party with her friends. It’s not particularly local and you can remember what it’s like to be 16. Do you…
A) Explain that you are not saying no, but you need a bit more information first and then you can talk about it
B) Say it’s up to her but don’t expect you to turn out at midnight and pick her up when it goes wrong
C) Say yes of course, buy her a new outfit and drive the 25 miles to the party
4. Your teenage son has been caught smoking with friends at school. He faces detention for a week. Do you…
A) Say how disappointed you are and explain that although you understand about peer pressure you are surprised that him and his friends are not aware of the serious health risks.
B) Laugh and say it’s just the sort of thing that you would have done
C) Tell him not to worry and agree not to tell his Dad….
5. Your teenage son and his friends are planning to spend the weekend at a music festival. They appear to have planned everything including transport and are very excited. Do you…
A) Get excited too-you used to love a festival! Make sure they have all bases covered, have a quiet chat with the other parents and make a contingency plan that a few of you will be around over the weekend in case of any problems. Make sure they all have mobile phones and give them a big warning about drugs and alcohol.
B) Be delighted-this means you can go away for the weekend and not have to worry about them
C) Buy new tents for everyone, give them loads of money and pay for a taxi home afterwards.
Mostly As If you have answered mostly As then you can still remember what it is like to be a teenager and you want your son or daughter to have as much fun as you did-provided they are safe and sensible. You do worry about them and their friends, but you accept that independence is a key part of growing up. You have nurtured and solid and open relationship with your child and you hope this will make them reasonably sensible and responsible!
Mostly Bs Sounds like you can’t wait to get your teenager off your hands. Give them enough rope and they will hang themselves seems to be your attitude to parenting, and if you are not careful you could be heading for a heartbreaking disaster. You might want to think about spending time with your teenager and helping them to prepare for adult life before it’s all too late.
Mostly Cs For goodness sake! What are you doing? Sounds like you are after an award for parent of the year! Spoiling and over indulging your teenager will not make them like you, love you or respect you any more than they already do, and trying to be a Cool Mum or Dad is really NOT that cool at all! Stop trying to ingratiate yourself with them and their friends and take a bit of a back seat…taxis home from festivals indeed!