Too many of today’s parents have let having a good relationship with their kids take priority over providing effective leadership, part of which involves the willingness to make unpopular decisions. Instead, they think like politicians, always worried about doing something that might hurt their chances of re-election (or, in this case, something that might cause their kids to not like them for a while, as if that’s relevant to anything). Politics and parenting don’t mix.
In lieu of putting your foot down and taking the inevitable heat, you might propose to your son that since he has no intention of doing anything inappropriate, the entire family will go on spring break together. During the day, he can hobnob with his friends but the evenings will be family time. That plan would afford him a reasonable amount of freedom while at the same time minimizing the potential risks. Furthermore, instead of being ogres, you’re just a couple of fuddy-duddies. You can live with that, I’m sure.
Family psychologist John Rosemond answers parents’ questions on his web site at www.rosemond.com.