I'm writing an article about how far parents should let their teens go on cruises... curfews, unsupervised activities, etc. If you don't remember, I seemed to stir up a little bit of controversy over my Triumph review, with many parents saying "What were her parents thinking?!" I would like to get some opposing viewpoints for my article from parents, as far as what they deem appropriate or innapropriate as far as what they let their teens do. If you respond, whether it be on the message boards or by e-mail, you may be quoted in my article (just so you're aware!). Thanks so much!
My view on this subject is.... it depends on the teens.. I think each parent... if they are a GOOD parent.. know what they can trust thier kids to do and not to do. The world is full of scarey people and things. Common sence is a good rule of thumb when it comes to how far to let a teen go in any circumstance.
I have to agree with Candy, it really depends on the teen, but I do think that a cerfew should be enforced, depending on the age of the teen. Also a few check-in times during the day/evening, and just knowing where your kids are, almost the same as being at home. I've been fortunate enough on the cruises we've been on, where the kids were always well behaved, but have heard horror stories on some sailings.
Honestly, 1 a.m. would be the max. Not because of mistrust, but so many things can happen on land, and I feel the risk increases at sea.
Children AND adults are kidnapped everyday. People have come up missing on cruise ships and it is a sense of relief to know my teens are in the cabin when I go to sleep.
I also don't think there is anything worthwhile to do at 2, 3, or 4 a.m. for anyone.
Sorry, just my opinion, but there isn't a lot to do as most pools are closed, the shops are closed, etc....and I am not at all comfortable about my kids going to another persons cabin, regardless if I have met their parents. I would have only known their parents a few moments, and I don't trust a stranger with my child, teenaged or otherwise.
We recently had a story of a woman who (talk about stupid) was at a bus stop at 1 a.m. and needed to go back for something at her house. She handed her infant child to a stranger and asked him to watch him. They had been sitting there talking for several minutes waiting on the bus. She went home, came back and (big surprise) he was gone with the baby.
The baby turned up later, dead. The man confessed to killing him.
I realize a teenager has the ability to say no or resist, but wasn't Amy Bradley, (who mysteriously disappeared off a cruise ship) in her early 20's. Crime doesn't have an age limit. I would NOT let my kids stay out till the wee hours and most deffinately not in another cabin.
Whatever the limit, the teens should be carrying a two-way radio so that they can get in contact with their parents at any time, under any circumstances.
My main concern with letting kids stay out too late is that they may be disrupting other passengers. If they are in an area like the Teens' Ctr. or the disco (if permitted), then fine. I think 1 am is too late. Midnight is plenty late when you consider they need to get SOME sleep before going off the next day on shore excursions. A overly tired teen is going to be a grumpy teen. Who needs it when a little more sleep can make a big difference?
Whether we are home or on a ship, I will not be able to sleep until the kids are in bed, or at least in the cabin, therefore, they WILL have a curfew!! And I agree, there is nothing to do past 1:00am anyway, except get into trouble.
And a two way radio is a good idea, so if they do run into problems, you can get to them. We just purchased them for our Oct. cruise. Our problem is they call us too much on it.
Our teenaged daughter (15 at the time) had complete freedom to do what she wanted on the ship. Of course, she had this permission because I knew what she would want to do was within my OWN limits. The only restriction I can think of, would be that she must stay out of any other cabin without supervision--this includes boys' cabins and crew cabins. My teen says, "some teens have grown up enough to know what will permanently damage their life and what is just for fun" (and will act responsibly). She also mentioned that anything illegal is not allowed, either (of course that's true for me).--she doesn't go into the casino, for example. She says, "When I go on vacation I'd rather spend my vacation with my family and close friends instead of with people I'll never see again." She is adamant about teen irresponsiblity and teen violence.
I feel like it's time for me to "wade in here", and likely get my foot stuck in my mouth..
There are a couple of "keys" to be considered in this discussion. "Parents responsibility" and the "teens responsibility".
Unfortunately many of us have seen incidents at home and onboard ships where neither of these parties accepts these responsibilities. It is those experiences that weigh heavily when we start thinking of these discussions.
Most everyone thinks they've done a good job raising their kids, and it's not likely any of the parents who's kids have got into destructive situations onboard ever expected that THEIR KIDS would get into these situations.
Though they exist, I'd think there's very few parents who's attitude is "my kids payed to be here, they can do what they like.
And when it comes to people like that, it is the cruise line employees who MUST take the responsibility of informing those people that, IS NOT the case!
A teen who is a "good, solid, and reasonably mature kid at home, will likely be the same onboard. And a teen who might be a bit of a handful at home, won't become an angel once they've crossed the gangway.
But, the reality is that no matter how mature our teens are. They are still teens, and still do require some parental direction. I think everyone of us can remember how SMART we were when we were a teen. It was our life, and we couldn't understand why we didn't have total control over it. That feeling is just a part of the process of "growing up".
Honestly I don't think any teenager should be relied upon to make all their own decisions, whether on land or on a ship. That's just too heavy a burden to place on a 15,16, or 17 year old.
That said...In my view each child, and each situation has to be treated individually. There is not much sense in trying to establish say a 12 or 1 AM curfew from everyone under 18.
I do think it's inappropriate for opposite sex teens to be in a cabin together, whether in a one on one, or group situation.
I don't have an objection to kids sitting in public areas and talking, even if it is into the wee hours, but I don't think any of us would allow our kids to have this type of gathering in their bedrooms at home, harmless or not. I think we'd welcome them to sit in the living room, or family room, but I think a bedroom is just too intimate.
Though I do have a funny story about a party held in my bedroom in my parents home. But I was bedridden at the time, after an accident I had doing what teens do<G>
Well said Kuki. And when I said 1 a.m. Max. I meant the very latest I would EVER accept them coming in.
Midnight is reasonable. Nothing to do after midnight.
I also agree with you Kuki, I would never find it acceptable to have my teen in another teens cabin, most certainly not of the opposite sex.
Things happen even when you don't expect them too. I have well behaved kids, but any child can be different and IS different when they are out of ear and eyeshot of their parents.
Why put yourself in a position that could become compromising.
I trust my kids, but feel much more comfortable knowing they are in the cabin with me when I go to sleep.