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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 sunburned nose. 

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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Last Updated 05.20.2002 | Email Parenting is Prevention | Privacy Policy