The Norman Transcript

April 12, 2013

Good parenting choices


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Dear Readers,

In light of the recent tragedy in Steubenville, Ohio, we just want to reiterate how important it is to always know who your kids are with, what they’re doing and where they are. We feel that all male and female students should see the short YouTube video put out by students at the University of Oregon.

As we have mentioned before, some parents allow under-aged children to consume alcohol in their homes. Although we don’t know anything at all about the parents in Ohio, we are hoping that parents who do allow this will realize the seriousness and tragic possibilities that could occur. You are not your child’s friend — you are the parent.

Since both prom and graduation seasons are upon us with celebratory activities, please don’t be naïve and think these situations can’t happen to you and your family.

Q: My oldest daughter is a senior in high school, and she has told her dad and me that a group of her girlfriends are going to get a hotel room after the prom. She has been invited to join them. We are not entirely comfortable with this and just wondered what your thoughts are. Are we being too old-fashioned?

— Jan, south

Oklahoma City

Dear Jan,

This is a difficult question to answer because all kids, and combinations of kids, are different. We realize this is a popular thing to do. Do you know these friends and their parents? Is there a deposit required at the hotel for damages? Will anyone be checking on them? If they aren’t of legal age, who is reserving the room for them? Will there be alcoholic beverages?

We have known many students over the years who have done this and had a great time. There are those who would abuse the privilege — and have. You said this is your oldest daughter, and we are assuming your oldest child. Remember that whatever you do for this one will be setting a precedent for those to come.

You also said that you and Dad aren’t really comfortable with this plan, and we feel you should always follow your instincts. You have them for a reason.

Perhaps a solution would be for a few parents to also get rooms and stay in the same hotel to make sure guidelines are followed. Not that anything of the same caliber will happen, but we hope you read the paragraph above about Steubenville, Ohio. Those parents didn’t think anything tragic would happen, either.

Please send questions to questions.classact@gmail.com. Sally and Jeannie are certified school counselors with 49 years combined educational experience.

Jeannie has two children, Sally three. The responses presented don’t necessarily reflect the views of any certain school district.

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