Sue Scheff: Teen Groundation - Taking Your Punishment to Facebook


In a recent New York Times article, 15 year-old Tess Chapin of Sunnyside, Queens (New York), started a campaign on Facebook to convince her parents to remove her punishment. She was grounded for 5 weeks for missing her curfew by one hour and most importantly, drinking at a party. If you missed the first part, she is only 15 years-old, drinking is illegal for minors. Missing her curfew is blatant disrespect for her parents and their boundaries.

Besides the fact that her parent's were probably worried sick, teenage drinking is prohibited, as well as the fact that Tess is very fortunate something worse didn't happen to her (such has someone putting a drug in her drink). It is commendable that Tess is being diplomatic about her mission, however part of being a responsible parent is considered "parenting" - especially following through with consequences.

Will Tess succeed? It seems unlikely. The fact that this brings more awareness to parents being proactive in sticking to their consequences is empowering. Teenagers need to understand these curfews and rules are put in place for "their" safety. Someday when they become a parent, they will finally get it. Until then, we will watch as some teens will continue to attempt to bolt the parenting system.

Special thanks to New Jersey Family Magazine for sharing this story with me. Follow them on Twitter @NJFamilyMag. Also check out the variety of responses the NYT's Blog has received.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

Also on Examiner.

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