I have three boys who come complete with all the stereotypical characteristics of teenagers. They have cell phones, tons of friends, and not enough independence. Adolescence is a tricky age for parents. We want them to have opportunities to be independent but we also want to know where they are, who they’re with, how many bazillion grams of sugar they’ve eaten before 10am, and make sure any injuries related to asphalt, explosives, firearms or chemical combinations are being treated properly.
My kids can bike anywhere in the neighborhood and we’re close enough to a mall and other stores that they can get there pretty easily on their own. They love that freedom. But I also want to know where they are so we have a few non-negotiable agreements. They are not allowed to have friends over if we are not home and there must be a parent home if they go to a friend’s house. Since they migrate from one friend’s house to another, I also ask that they text or call me when heading from one place to another. Sounds fair to me.
My 15 year-old son, Noah, shared this story last week about a dream that one of his friends had about him (Noah). In this dream, Noah and all his friends were hanging out at the local park when they were attacked by a pack of zombies. In the midst of the battle, they looked up a saw a helicopter descending to rescue them. The helicopter landed and the boys started piling in. Noah told his friends he had to call his mom to let her know he was moving to another place. But the rescue effort was happening fast and the helicopter had to take off. As the chopper took off, Noah’s friends watched from the window as he got eaten by the zombies. End of dream.
You know you’ve trained your kids well when even their friends know your rules so well they dream about them. I have since changed the cell phone rule to include an exception clause. In the event of a zombie attack rescue, they do not need to text or call.