I have several concerns with the book. Number
My main problem and the reason for this post is the lack of parental responsibility. These were not bad parents. They weren't out 'doing their thing' and leaving the kids to fend for themselves. They were responsible adults who provided for their families and cared for the needs of the home. However these teens were never told NO by their parents. The parents did discuss their opinion of the behavior, but didn't forbid it.
You can't stop a teenage from certain behavior.
I can if their skinny little behind is sitting on my couch with me.
You would sit and watch your teenager?
If I thought their behavior was life threatening, absolutely I would. And I wouldn't apologize for it. The adults in this story took on more of an advisory role. When Stephanie, the fifteen year old girl slept over at her eighteen year old boyfriend's house, whose parents were out of town, her parents expressed their objections. However, the way the expressed it was more of a concern. Their attitude was I don't think it's a good idea for you to stay at his house when his parents aren't home. My attitude is There is no way you are staying at your boyfriend's house whether his parents are home or not.
When Stephanie moved back to their original home to live with Tabby, her best friend, Tabby's parents took on a well your not our daughter attitude. If a child is staying in my home, they are my child and I expect them to follow the rules--not advice--rules.
Eventually Stephanie began staying at her boyfriends house most nights. If her parents called, Tabby's parents would explain that she was at her boyfriend's house. Stephanie's parents would say, "Have her call us when she comes home." The first time I called my child and she wasn't where she was supposed to be, I'd get in my car and no one would forget that encounter.
When Stephanie began drinking, the attitude was, well you know you're underage and not supposed to be drinking. Then the drugs use began. It wasn't long until Stephanie was showing physical signs of being out of control.
My issue here is that at any point there were six adults, Stephanie's parents, Tabby's parents, and Jason's parents who could have rescued these teenagers. I use the word rescue because they were in a world they were ill equipped to handle. They were being exploited and misused by adults who didn't care about them. They needed rescuing. As I said in my review, if I had teenagers, I would have the read this book and then we'd discuss it. I would explain that my strict rules and archaic idea of needing to know where they are and who they're with is for their protection.
Bottom line--teens are not adults.
- Teenagers have a right to a happy and safe life.
- They are not ready to make adult decisions.
- This is a cruel world we live in.
- The world does not care about teenagers.
- Teenagers need our protection today more than they ever have.
- Enforcing rules and regulations is part of parenting.
- Teenagers don't have to like our rules.
- We are not our teen's friends.
- We are their parents.
- Our rules don't have to make us popular.
- Our rules do have to keep our teens safe.