Do not get stuck wondering where your teenage daughter is on a Saturday night, what she is doing or who she is with. Whether she is celebrating a Sweet 16 party or she simply wants to gather her friends together, planning a girls' night out is an ideal way for your teen and her friends to have some family-friendly fun.
What teen girl does not love a fashionista night? Especially if the mall has budget fashionista stores, where the girls can get the latest makeup and clothes -- and still have money left over, whether from babysitting or a part-time job. Or, take them to a nail salon, where they can get the ever-popular mani-pedi, whether natural, French or the latest in nail art. Sporty girls would love a night out at a baseball game or skating rink, whether inline skating or ice skating. The always-popular bowling (whether ten pin or candlepin) offers a fun, safe night with physical exercise and social aspects. Under 21- and under 18-teen dance clubs are popular with many teens.
Planning a girls' night out for your teen does not mean that you have to take total control. Although you are in charge of organizing the evening, keep your daughter's thoughts, opinions and interests into account. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ notes on their Healthy Children website that adolescents need to build confidence in their abilities to act independently. While you might not want to hand over the reins to your teen, work together and allow her to present her own independent ideas. Make a list of the ideas that she comes up with, evaluate them, and determine which ones are real possibilities.
Although your teen's growing sense of independence is a positive, her sense of her own independence may create conflict when she wants something you do not think is suitable for her or for her age. When it comes to dealing with teens, pick your battles, suggest the child development experts at Kids Health. If your daughter insists on a specific girls' night out plan that was not on your agenda, think about whether it is worth arguing about. If the idea is outlandish, too expensive or involves something unsafe or illegal -- such as underage drinking – then, just say no.
Supervising Risky Behaviors
Following your teen around on her night out with friends is unrealistic. That said, depending on her age, you do need to supervise her. For example, a 14-year-old cannot drive, and you (or another adult) will need to drive her – and watch over her group in public, even if in the shadows where you can observe unobtrusively. Make sure that the night out does not involve anything you would consider risky or unsafe. This includes illegal activities such as drinking alcohol as well as potentially risky behaviors such as meeting up with college-aged boys. Keep in mind that a teen girls' night out is to provide a fun, but safe, evening of activities for your daughter and her friends.
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