Does my attitude need adjusting? ***updated***


difficult child is 13 and in the 8th grade this year. Even if he was a regular 13 yr old, which he's not, I think I would have problems with the following.

Last night he brought home admittance ticket to a school dance. He wants to go. It's for 7th and 8th graders and it's at the school gym tonight. Time: 9:00 - 11:00 pm

I have no doubt the school has had this planned for some time and difficult child just forgot about it until the excitement rose enough among the student body to get his attention -- it finally "registered" with him.

I don't have a problem with the dance, per se. However, I have a problem with a school supported dance for 11 - 14 yr olds not even starting until 9:00 pm and ending at 11:00 pm.

I told difficult child that seems a bit late in the evening for this age group, which is true.

But also, I can see this setting up for future problems -- let him do one thing once, and he's suppose to be able to do it forever; doesn't matter that the circumstances are different. Example: supervised school dance vs party at a kids house that may or may not be supervised appropriately until 11:00 pm.

At least one of his friends is planning on walking home. The friend lives a mile from school. I just have problems with a 13 yr old walking the streets alone at night..... Just too many things can happen. (If difficult child goes, we will pick him up.)

I just see the 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm time as too late for this age group of kids. Am I off-base here?



New Member
No, you're not off base. My oldest easy child isn't allowed to walk home from school after an evening event, but his friend is and he lives further away. Often times I offer to pick the friend up, sometimes he accepts, other times he says he wants to walk. I'd be a nervous wreck if it were my kid walking late at night by himself. I tell easy child that if husband can pin him down, than so can another man and some men like 12 year old boys. He thinks thats a sick example and "It won't happen to me, I'm too big/strong." But there is no such thing if someone has a weapon.

And I sooooo know what you mean about "If I can do it this time, I can do it next time." We had that very discussion this morning with seating arrangements in the van. Not a big deal to explain this to some kids, but it is a big deal with difficult children.


Well-Known Member
In my opinion, yes. I think it is OK for kids to be at a school related function that is supervised until 11:00. I would never let him walk home after dark - let alone 11:00pm. I don't care how far away it is.

I do agree it could start earlier - perhaps a 8-10 timeframe does make more sense. But, I am sure it is part of middle school excitement to have later dances.

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
Our school sponsored dances were always 7-10 PM. Most kids arrived around 7:30, not wanting to be the first there, of course. And most were ready to be picked up just at 10, the high point of the evening and when they were still happy. I think starting at 9PM and ending at 11PM is kind of late for a school sponsored thing, besides, I think 3 hours is better than 2.

I never really worried about school run activities in regards to supervision as usually by this age they have a rule that if they leave they can't come back in and there are plenty of chaperones. At least at our schools there always were. I once volunteered and both easy child and difficult child made me not go. Hahaha


Active Member
Our middle school dances start at 2:45, right after school and end at 5:00. The problem with that is, working parents have to find a way to pick up their child at 5:00. I happend to get out of work at 4:00 so its not a big deal for me. With that being said, I would have a problem with a school dance ending at 11:00 for that age group. I think 10 would be much more reasonable. And as far as the friend walking home, I know that problem. It seems I am the taxi driver because I just can't let someones child walk home. It just doesn't seem right!!


Active Member
It's something like 6-8:30 at my son's junior high. Tickets must be purchased by the Wed (before the Friday dance) so they know what to anticipate in terms of chaperones. Most kids arrive right on time since it's not a long evening. (There's also gym and game rooms in addition to the dance going on).

All students must be picked up by an adult at the door. No kids are released to walk home.

Sheila, it sounds to me like you need to get on the dance committee!


New Member
It does seem a late start/ending to me. However, I'd still let him go.

As to the issue if he can do this, he can do other stuff, um, why? This is chaperoned. This is a school event. You will be picking him up when it is over. So, it should be relatively easy to say no to other things even to a difficult child. There may be some arguments at times, but it does help when you express the rules long before the issue comes up.

For us, it was school events were allowed so long as chores and homework were done. Home behavior would not usually prevent attendance unless it was extreme such as stealing, cutting classes, violence. The school also had the rule that no one could go to school events without a C GPA, especially dances and sporting events.


New Member
When my difficult child was in Midschool, I think that was what time the dances here were as well. We have a curfew in our town set at 10pm for under 18 year olds unless they've changed it. I kinda wondered why they had the dances run so late when on a regular day they had to be off the streets by 10 :crazy: never made a lot of since to me.

For that age group I think 8:00 to 10:00 would be a little more appropriate. in my humble opinion by letting kids that age stay out that late is kind of a bad idea because by the time they hit 15 or 16 they think staying out till 12:00 or 1:00 am shouldn't be a problem. Of course for most parents it is but the teenage mentality doesnt understand why there should be a problem with that :rolleyes:

Add to that, the amount of time it takes most kids to settle down for the night after their big night out, you could be looking at 2 or 3 am. before they close their eyes for the night been there done that.

That was always my experience with my ADHD child. Not letting them go on the other hand or making them leave early wouldn't really be fair either. Not the kids fault the school starts the dances so late.

I have always wondered about their logic tho :grin:



I don't think it's too late. I'm guessing it's scheduled for that time because of sports events earlier in the evening.


New Member
I agree with you that it is too late. And i know i would let him go because it is a school sponored event.

Short of joining the dance committee, I would drop an email to the assist. prinicpal or whoever is in charge of these things and voice my concern.

As far as walking home alone. No

Going to a house party unitl 11pm. No

I'll wear my ear plugs in sympathy when those arguments begin! :wink:


Roll With It
I think the time is very strange. I would let him go, and would insist on driving both ways.

As far as thetime, send a little note tot he principal and cc the superintendent of schools. Chances are th borad of ed has no knowledge of this, but may have internal policies against it.

For the difficult child idea that this is ok for other events, tell him up front that it is a one time shot. No other late events such as parties with friends are going to happen. Just make a statement of policy, and then let it go. When he tries next time, say that you already have a policy and it stands.



New Member
Wow, that does seem late to me too. Did you ever think to tell your son that you'll pick him up early? Maybe pick him up at 10 so you feel better about it. I totally agree that you should voice your concern as well. Maybe other parents feel similarly.

I would NEVER in my right mind let a child that age walk home alone at night. Are people downright crazy???

Our middle school dances begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. I agree with you - 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. seems a bit late for middle school kids. I'm glad you won't let him walk home alone at that hour too. As you said, too many things can happen. And, at least with my difficult children, common sense is usually non-existent.

I would probably let my difficult children go to one and see how their behavior was after it was over. I would let them know that it would be a "trial" dance. If they "lost it" when it was time to go home, or had a "melt-down" the next day, they wouldn't be allowed to go to the next one.

I would let your difficult child know, if you decide to let him go, that just because he is going to this one, doesn't mean that he can go to every other dance or party he wants to attend. I would tell him a separate decison will be made for each and every future social event.

I hope you're comfortable with whatever decision you make. I hope difficult child holds it together whether or not you let him attend. WFEN
I jsut want to say I agree with the majority, its a little late. Like everyone else said, yes I would let my child go but I'd pick him/her up. I would also send a email to the principal and strongly express your concerns.

So to answer your, no you aren't out of place or being unreasonable.

my 2 cents

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

Our difficult children are the same age & I'd have the same concerns you have. (The tweedles both attend day treatment & there are few after school activities; no dances.)

I see this time as more of a high school start. My 8th grade niece attends dances & her school starts at 7:30 - ends at 10. Not unreasonable hours.

Either way, I'd be driving both ways. And I'd do the letter thing stating your concerns.


No way would difficult child be allowed to walk home -- even if we lived within walking distance of the school.

I called the school to find out about supervision, etc. Maybe it had just been a long day, but it sounded like it ticked the lady who answered the phone off a bit. Oh well.... It will be supervised by parents, teachers, principal. Police will be on site. All campus students must have their picture ID to enter the building.

Well. He's off to the dance. He was just going to hang out with his friends. Yea, right. Does this sound like he was going to just hang out with his buddies? It took him 2 hours to get dressed, he made liberal use of his dad's cologne. :rofl: I'm sure his buddies will just love it! Put on 3 different pairs of socks. Wanted to go buy some boots. Fixed his hair 3 times. Brushed his teeth without any prompting. He was siked up and anxious. Mercy! Good thing he's not a girl because by the time he was finished dressing, he would have missed the whole dance! :grin:

I did make him "sit" and have a little chat. I wanted to know if he is "man enough" to say "no" to alcohol, drugs, sneaking out of the dance, etc. I wanted to know if he thought he was "man enough" to be his own person, to not succumb to peer pressure and do the right thing no matter what or who was pressuring him to do otherwise. He looked me right in the eye and said "yes" each time. I felt relieved -- at least he has good intentions. Don't mind telling you all though that peer pressure scares me....

Then husband piped up and said, "If we find out you're not (man enough), you won't go to another thing until after you turn 18." :faint: On the up side, husband was wild as a march hair in his teens and 20's and you know the old saying about the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Maybe this is just what difficult child needed to hear.....

Anyway, I guess we've entered the next phase....



Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome to the difficult child teenage years. It is not for the faint of heart. :rofl:

I hope that your difficult child had a wonderful time at the dance.



Well-Known Member
My difficult child will be twelve next month and started intermediate school.....oh man, is this what I have to look forward to? I grew up in a little bitty town in the midwest. THIS is Houston! Yikes!