Q. My high-school senior is driving me crazy! She wants
to go on a "spring break" trip with her friends -
boys and girls. She worked last summer and has the money but
her dad and I just don't feel good about it. What can we do?
It may be small
consolation, but you are not alone! In the past 20 years or
so, Spring Break has taken on a life of its own and is seen
by many as a "rite of passage". Your gut tells you
that you don't want your daughter to experience this particular
"rite of passage" and your gut is right!
Just 20 minutes
of watching MTV during Spring Break will be enough to spark
your efforts to find alternative entertainment for your senior.
Extreme alcohol consumption, nudity and unrestricted sex is
the norm. Every year, several young people die or are severely
injured because they're drunk.
Just because your
daughter has "her own" money from a summer job,
she's not "entitled" to go somewhere you don't want
her to go. She is still a minor and your responsibility. You
may just say "no". When she is able to completely
support herself, she can make all her own decisions.
If you are able,
you may want to plan an ultimate family vacation for Spring
Break. She might even bring along one friend whose family
pays her way. Or send her to visit a friend or relative who
lives in a sunny climate so she can still come back with a
If you want to
let her go but want to make sure she is chaperoned - volunteer
to be a chaperone. Take that responsibility seriously. Don't
chaperone more students than you can handle and know those
students well. Don't be the only adult. Let kids know before
they "sign up" what your rules and expectations
are. Get the other parents to agree to your rules and agree
that you may send their kids home if they break the rules.
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