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AIBU to ask if you allow your teens to hang out with unknown friends?

(114 Posts)
WhippinPiccadilly1 Thu 09-Mar-17 20:04:43

As per the thread title, those with teens in the ages 13-15, do you know their friends? Or do you allow them to go out with friends you haven't met, and don't know?

I'm curious as to if I'm being unfair to my 15 year old, after I've said to him he needs to invite his friends over so I can meet them. I just feel uneasy at knowing nothing about them. They don't attend his school, and he met them going to a park with another friend.

I can be quite strict, he isn't allowed to go out after school unless it's something like cinema, swimming, organised activities. He is allowed out at the weekend, but must be home for tea time (6). I'm finding it hard to set boundaries.

harderandharder2breathe Thu 09-Mar-17 20:12:50

Yabu

He's 15. You need to give him independence while you're still around to pick up the pieces so he can cope with it when he goes to uni or moves out and you're not there.

lumpit Thu 09-Mar-17 20:13:07

This seems a bit too strict imo, as long as any schoolwork is completed why shouldn't he be allowed to go out with his friends to just hang around? Organised activities aren't 'cool' when you're that age, and a lot of kids won't have money or an interest to do things like that all the time, so you may be negatively impacting his friendships

With regards to friends you haven't met, they will probably naturally drop in. Why don't you ask him to invite them round to hang out rather than insisting you meet them? It might go down a bit better with both your son and his friends

Clayhead Thu 09-Mar-17 20:14:27

Yes, I let them go out with friends I haven't met - usually meet them eventually. It would be incredibly restrictive for them if they could only see the few people I've met.

Yes, they can potter round with friends - tonight dd went to town for a coffee with friends in town and wandered round the shops.

Caprianna Thu 09-Mar-17 20:15:34

YANBU Imo but I feel lucky that my 15 year old prefers to stay at home and spend time with us instead of going out.

DrunkenMissOrderly Thu 09-Mar-17 20:15:52

At weekends he has to be home for tea at 6? At 15? Poor lad he must be a laughing stock.

celtiethree Thu 09-Mar-17 20:16:35

I have 2 teenagers and I don't know all their friends, most but not all. I know the close ones. If they want to go out I ask where they are going and who they are meeting. I'll ask questions re the ones I don't know but would never insist on them bringing their friends for an introduction. At 15 I think you would need to trust their judgement. But I also let mine go out during the week if they don't have homework, admittedly the chances of them going out are slim as they are rather heavily loaded with activities. I think a tea time curfew is v harsh, mine quite often go out to meet up for a burger or pizza. My DS who is 16 often has parties to go to and then arrives home around 12. You obviously have a very different parenting style to me and to me it seems quite unfair on your teen but I don't know anything about where you live which will be influencing your decisions.

Clayhead Thu 09-Mar-17 20:16:51

I feel lucky my 15 year old wants to socialise as well as spend time with us!

HumpMeBogart Thu 09-Mar-17 20:18:41

I wasn't sure what 'after school' meant - is he allowed out in the evenings?

When I was 15, I was going to parties most weekends, sneaking into the pub. I wasn't getting paralytic or doing drugs or attending orgies, I was experimenting and pushing the boundaries, really. 90% of the 15 year olds in my school were doing the same. Certainly all of my friends were, and we looked out for each other.

As harder said, I'm glad I did that at 15 when my parents were around to pick up the pieces. Trying things out with a safety net is...well, safer.

Orangetoffee Thu 09-Mar-17 20:19:47

Yes, once they go to secondary school they start hanging out with friends I don't know.. Some I get to know over time, others are just a name, fine with me.

YABU not letting him allowing him out after school, organised activities cost money and not everyone can or wants to afford them. What is wrong with just hanging out?

Sparklydress Thu 09-Mar-17 20:19:55

Definitely too strict, poor boy must feel stifled.
I have three teens, the only one that I police with friendships has SN, even then she has to learn some lessons in life.

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Thu 09-Mar-17 20:20:15

My ds is 15 and I know 'of' his friends. Never met most of them but ds hasn't done anything to make me doubt his judgement.

blueskyinmarch Thu 09-Mar-17 20:24:20

At 15 I knew a select few of my DDs friends. Most of them were just names to me. I trusted them pretty much and they knew if I caught them out up to no good then they wouldn't be allowed as much freedom. They were definitely allowed out later than 6 pm though!

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 09-Mar-17 20:29:51

I felt a bit like that initially. It seemed strange but the ones "from the park" have now been here for sleepovers and ds there (knowing where they live but not having met parents - strange at first too).

golfbuggy Thu 09-Mar-17 20:33:41

I don't have a clue who most of my son's friends are - they are just names.

If every parent insisted on meeting their DC's friends before they could "hang out" with them - surely no one would ever meet anyone?

Euphemia Thu 09-Mar-17 20:35:35

I know two or three of DD (14)'s friends but that's it.

She's met loads of people at high school that I've never met - I'm not going to insist on it either!

You need to trust his judgement.

golfbuggy Thu 09-Mar-17 20:35:36

P.S. My 11 year old has more freedom than your 15 year old!! including going to the park on her own and - shock horror- possibly just hanging out with whatever child is there, regardless of whether I've met them or not ...

Sparklingbrook Thu 09-Mar-17 20:38:57

YABU

I have met some of my DS's friends but not all. Why would I want to? How do you go about vetting teens anyway?
When you get them over is there a questionnaire or something? What happens if they don't pass?

The 6pm curfew doesn't sound fun. Is he allowed back out after dinner?

Caprianna Thu 09-Mar-17 20:41:33

This surely depends where you live too

Userone1 Thu 09-Mar-17 20:41:43

At 15 mine tended to have their close friends, who they had known for years, so I knew. They would go with these friends and meet others I didn't know and become friends, some of who I met, not on my insistence. They would just knock to go out or come and 'hang out'.

Mostly mine didn't 'hang out' on the street, they had somewhere to go and something to do ie cinema, play football, go for a pizza, play Xbox at each other's houses etc

MrsJBaptiste Thu 09-Mar-17 20:44:16

Hmm, that doesn't sound like much freedom for a 15 year old. Not if I compare it to what I was like at 15! We often met up for sleepovers but it was what went on before and after the sleepovers that none of our parents knew too much about!

My nearly 13 year old heads out on his bike most evenings after school so is out between 3-6ish before coming home for tea. Last summer he stayed out till nearer 7pm, I imagine it will be the same this year. After this time, the park seems to fill up with older teenagers so he may be happy to come home then.

I don't know all his friends but he has stayed friends with a group from Primary and I know them and their parents well. Any other friends are names I've heard but may or may not get to know them.

It's hard when they're into teenage territory and I know OH and I are wondering how much freedom is enough or too much. DS can be quite young when he's with certain friends but obviously getting to the age where he may show off to impress new people. Hopefully he'll stay sensible enough though...

mumeeee Thu 09-Mar-17 20:45:46

Sorry another one saying Yabu and way too strict. I know when my DDs were 15 I didn't know all of their friends.
They were allowed out with them without me having met them.
Also they didn't have a 6pm curfew.

bloodyteenagers Thu 09-Mar-17 20:52:02

at 15 the only one I vetted a bit was a teen with sn.
My 11 has more freedom than your 15 year old including not coming in at 6 for dinner. He would have played with people I don't know but within weeks this is soon resolved. Same with the older ones when they were teens. Eventually you meet them because one day one gets brave and knocks on your door. Or they come to yours to get ready. Or they want the sleepover.

Userone1 Thu 09-Mar-17 20:54:05

How did you vet the teen with SN? And why!?

Hassled Thu 09-Mar-17 20:54:23

Sorry but yes, you're pushing your luck. This just doesn't happen with your average 15 year old. You have to start trusting their judgement, hard as that is.

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