Spring break is in full swing for many college students across the country. And believe me, when I say "full swing," I mean full-rockin', rollin' party-hearty swinging!
But given that nearly all of these students’ lifestyles are still funded by their parents, and that nearly all are still under the legal drinking age, it makes me wonder: What are their parents thinking?
As a mom of two college men I actually find it fairly easy to boldly proclaim: "If you are livin' on my dime, then you are livin' by my rules."
My rules for them as adults are actually filled with freedom, coupled with the principle of "self government." They were raised with this consistent theme, and they understand that my husband and I practice the "abuse and lose" approach. (I.e., they have both freedom and our full support as long as they follow basic rules that provide for their safety, moral development, and future.)
Of course, I can hear the naysayers now: "But they’re adults. You can't tell adult children what to do." To this I simply answer, "BALONEY!"
I am a much-older adult, and I understand that an employer can impose certain codes and expectations for my behavior on me. That's the deal in life -- you work for someone, you have to play by their rules. (Of course I know they can't trample your basic rights, deny civil liberties, etc. So don't go there. You know what I'm talking about.)
The young college men in my life -- of whom I am so very proud and blessed to be called their "mom" -- also know that my husband and I are fully committed to them as individuals and will provide plenty of opportunities for good, safe fun.
Let's get back to Spring Break as an example. Instead of shrugging our shoulders and letting them go off to some distant beach where mayhem, alcohol and "Girls Gone Wild" abound, I booked a house at our favorite beach, which is located on a barrier island on Florida's Gulf Coast. With no bridge (you have to get here by boat) and no bars, this break is a lot safer and a lot more meaningful than what many are experiencing.
One of my dear friends has a house nearby and her daughter, also on Spring Break, has brought about nine of her "best friends" too. So, there's plenty of social activity, fun and friendship without the nonsense. The kids go back and forth between our houses, so my friend and I both get to spend time with them and listen to their entertaining -- and interesting -- chatter.
Last night the gang was at my friend's house and the main topic of conversation proved an-eye-opening, mind-numbing experience for her.