Parenting, parties and curfews, oh my! – End of the Day for March 15, 2014

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Joe got invited to an evening gaming party tonight at a family’s house from school that  we don’t know that well. In the past, his parties have always been a families who are close friends of our. Heck, in most cases, the adults would be hanging out in one room while the kids played in another. As he grows older, this will be happening less and less. He is developing his own social circle and his friends, and their family’s won’t always be well known to us. Just when you think you have this parenting thing worked out, there is always a curve ball coming.

This evening when I dropped him off, I embarrassed him terribly by insisting on walking in with him, meeting the parents (more like making sure they were actually there. This is LA, after all) and finding out what time THEY expected the party to be over. (Kids re notorious for inflating the end times of parties. I know this from my own experience growing up. For me, I never want to be “that parent” — the one that is always late picking up the kid, not understanding the timing or some other misunderstanding. It is terribly embarrassing for me to be a inconvenience to other parents. I know how much it annoying me with others are unorganized, so I make a great effort to not do that to others.

The teenagers!

How I still imagine kid’s parties! (LAUGH)

Still, there is always so much grey area. Even tonight, Joe and I had a back and forth over chat about the party running later that I thought (and the parent had said). He then told me the party was supposed to go on much longer than the parents had said, so I had to step up and be “Bad Daddy” and give me own hard deadline for ending the evening. It all worked out in the end, but even this small amount of drama sets my teeth on edge.

In our day, of course, our parents would have no idea who we were hanging out with, what we were doing or even where we were, in some cases. As long as we were back before whatever curfew was set (and not  drunk, high or smelling of cigarettes), we were mostly left to our own devices. In these “enlightened” days of parenting, though, we are much more aware of what our children are doing and, therefore, much more controlling. If it were the corporate world, we would be accused of micromanagement, but that seem to be the state of parenting these days. We try not to be overbearing, helicopter, parents, but this means that there are always lines to be draw, curfews to be negotiated, situations to consider and, yes, drama to be experienced.

It’s good to be home now after picking up Joe from the party. The evening went well for him and, despite my own bit of self-produced drama, find for me, too. It is only certain that there will be new challenges down the road and we’ll have to face them as they come.

Previously on End of the Day:

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