Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Schoolies – My Job as a Parent

My Job as a parent is almost over. My daughter will be 18 this month, she has finished Year 12, (with Certificate of Merit) and the exams are completed. All in all the year has been reasonable – not too stressful for either parent or student.

Ms almost 18 came to me last week and said I have been invited to go away for schoolies……… I was dreading the thought. Before I was able to comment, she then piped up………………. “But I don’t want to go, I don’t want to be babysitting them, while they get drunk and stuff”

This got me thinking – firstly I must have done a good job parenting, if she can already see this, secondly what is ‘and stuff?’

She told me some of what the girls are planning, getting drunk, trashing wherever they go, seeing if they can find some marijuana and get stoned. I imagine in there is the gratuitous sex, possibly unprotected. Oh I can’t bear to think about it.

In her wisdom, she said no. She realized it would lead to nothing but trouble, that she wouldn’t be able to enjoy herself as she would be babysitting the immature people of the party.

I understand that some people, both parents and children see muck-up-day and schoolies as a sign of growing up – what happened to getting your first car, getting your license, being allowed out late, your first legal drink.

My daughter already has a car, she is well on the way to getting her licence, she is allowed out late, (midnight) as long as I can pick her up. She may have tasted one or two alcoholic drinks but has certainly not been drunk.

These are all benchmarks in the growing up part of life. If parents think it is okay to allow the 15yo out after 10pm and not know where they are, that is not my problem. My problem is my child and where she is and what she is doing.

Schoolies is just another excuse for another party. What I want to know is where is the money coming from to fund this alcoholic binge? – If it is coming from the parents, they ought to be ashamed in permitting good money to be thrown away in this manner.

If this money is coming from government money, then they are being paid too much.

If this money is coming from part-time work, then the expenditure is fine, because the children have had to save the money and have learnt a lesson in doing do. My problem is that money could well be spent on something far more worthwhile.

Perhaps I am a party spoiler, perhaps I am too strict, but I certainly know where my children are, what they are doing and when they are doing it.

Schoolies is asking for trouble and from an accommodation point of view – I fully understand WHY certain establishments REFUSE all male or all female parties AND why around schoolies week they vet heavily AND increase costs. It’s called self-protection from a selfish minority.

If you have children attending ‘schoolies’ please please read them the riot act and hopefully no harm will come to them.

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