It is that season of year again when it’s time to head back to school. I’ve been thinking about the social life I had when I was in high school. God protected me because He knew I couldn’t handle being one of the “cool” kids. I sometimes looked with envy at the high school cheerleaders at my school as they were invited to parties and invited to join sororities. My extra curricular activities took place at school, home, or church. Once in awhile I was invited to a band party. Most of the kids at these parties were nerds and didn’t drink, smoke, or have sex. They chose to do what was right.
Now when my children were teens I noticed teens were hanging around in malls and that most parties involved at the least, drinking. Our PTA at that time invited a parent to speak to us who had lost a child as a result of under age drinking and driving. She beseeched us to have no tolerance for any teen being involved in any way with alcohol. It did no good to let them drink at home and take away the car keys. This had been done and someone found the car keys and drove under the influence and was killed as a result. Now we have the same problem with drugs.
Because of this eye-opening meeting I instructed my children that they could participate in school activities and church activities. If they attended any party where there were drugs, alcohol, smoking, or sex, even if they weren’t involved, they would be guilty by association. I also told them there was no reason to hang around in a mall. If they wanted to shop they should go there, get what they were shopping for, and then leave.
They agreed with those who thought the community should build a teen center. I wrote a letter to the newspaper saying that teens didn’t need a teen center. If they wanted to hang out with their friends they should bring them home to play board games with their parents. Surprisingly my letter embarrassed them but they did bring their friends home to play board games.
One time when our daughter was in high school I went on a trip to visit my parents. While I was gone our daughter was invited to attend one of “those” parties for the popular kids. Her dad allowed her to go but he told her that if anything was going on that shouldn’t be, she was to call him, and he would pick her up, no questions asked. She arrived at the party and after fifteen minutes she called him to come and get her. He didn’t ask any questions.
Now today teens have to worry about drugs, date rape, driving while intoxicated, and other bad behavior like texting while driving. When it comes to music I would listen to the music and then discuss with them why they liked certain styles. Fortunately one liked classical music and the other jazz but not smooth jazz. They were unusual teens by the grace of God! I think it could be genetic as we were nerdy parents.
If asked I would give parents and teens this advice. Stick to school, home and church for your social life. It may not be very exciting but if teens would do this, one day they will be thankful. Below is my high school graduation picture and one of me right before I started my freshman year in college. I planned to be "popular" in college but that is another story!