Knowing their Whereabouts
Getting Phone Numbers for your Kids' FriendsI have 2 quick comments after reading what some other parents are saying. I am the mother of a nearly 19 year old BHS grad who just finished his first year of college and a 15 year old going into soph year. First- I cannot underscore enough the necessity of phone numbers for your children's friends. Even the ones that are not in the inner circle. Friends change quickly in teenagers. With my older one these numbers were invaluable when someone's kid didn't show up and it was 2 a.m., or once someone ran away and there was an instant phone tree and the police were able to make sweeping inquiries very quickly. We were always compassionate when the phone rang (fortunately not very often) and felt that the web of parents are part of holding kids through these tough years. I like to meet every kid who comes in my house and I'm wary when kids come over who blow me off or are rude when I introduce myself. The phone numbers are one part- the other part is intra-parental communication. I'm also just as wary when I introduce myself to one of my kids' friend's parents and the parents don't care to connect in some way. I know from experience that some night their kid will be unaccounted for and they won't have a clue where to start. In these moments we are all desperately alone and we don't need to be. I also have seen a pattern that frequently it's been these kids who, a few years later, end up in some kind of trouble- academic, drug realted, crime related, etc.
The phone tree letter was such a good example of why it's important to have a newsletter like this. Getting your kids' friends phone numbers - what an obvious thing to do, but until today I hadn't thought about how useful it might be. It's a little sad that we are all sometimes struggling alone with a problem that another parent has figured out. I am really grateful to have such a convenient way (email) to get advice from expert parents.
About phone numbers and meeting friends. Sometimes the kids complain we embarrass them by trying to be friendly. I like to meet all her friends and their families. I just tell my daughter that it is my job to embarass her. That all teenagers are embarrassed. That she would be embarrassed in any case no matter what I was like or what I might do. It's just part of being a teenager. I entirely agree. Get everybodies phone number.
I think getting phone numbers for your kids' friends is a great idea. My son usually goes to other peoples' homes (since ours is too small) and I hate to say I don't even know their last names. No matter how much it annoys him, I'm going to ask for first and last names and telephone numbers.