When I was a teenager, I never gave my parents much credit. My house was the fun house – the one where my friends wanted to hang out. My parents always made sure that the house was stocked with munchies and with soda. They imposed no curfew. They let us hang out in the basement and they very rarely came downstairs. The only rules were that my friends had to enter and to leave through the front door and they had to say hello upon their arrival.
Did my parents know that we would occasionally sneak the beer around back? Did they care that my friends came over on a regular basis – eating and drinking and staying into the wee hours of the morning? I doubt it. But I am now the parent of two teenaged kids and I now know the brilliance of my parents’ plan – they knew who I was with and they knew where I was.
I guess I should give my parents some credit (I was actually paying attention!) … because now my house is stocked with goodies and the door is always open. Kids spend the night or hang out in my basement until all hours. Although my kids appreciate the open house, I suppose I will have to wait until they have teens of their own for them to give me credit for my brilliance.