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When did you first let your teen go to the movies with friends?

Posted March 4, 2013 - 1:05pm

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Michael  Riera, PhD
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Hi, I think your decision has to be based on where she/he is going, how far, in what kind of neighborhood, with what friends etc. It kind of felt natural for me to send my son to the movies without parent supervision when he was 14. He didn't really ask for it before then. He is now 15 and hangs out with nice boys they are out and about on the weekends, we keep phone contact.

What concerns are you having with letting your teen going alone?


we started simple.  Let them go when they're 12-13, but only the day movies.  You drop them off and pick them up right after, sometimes just waiting for them.  Then you expand.  Let them call when the movie is over, then they'll play arcade games, and then you take it from there, and then they're going ot mcdonalds before the movie.  It's just give a little get a little, if they can prove they can go to the movies without harming themselves, then why not expand that trust?


We first let our kids go to the movies with friends in sixth grade (about 12 years old). I'd drop them off and pick them up. We'd keep in contact through cell phones. Once they were older, we let them hang out around the mall before and after the movie. They call when they're ready to be picked up, and always text me when they move locations. You need to be able to trust your kid for this to work, so I've always been very clear with my kids that if they ever lie to me about where they are, they lose the privelege of hanging out with their friends.


I think it's safe to let your teen go to the movie with friends pretty early. As long as your pick up and drop off your young teen, and have a dependable method of communication, your teen should be safe. It comes down to how comfortable you are with giving your teen more independence. 


Now that there have been two high profile shootings in movie theaters (not to be the morbid one here), I'm going to be much more hesitant about letting my children go to movies. Right now they are far too young but I would consider letting them go when they are around 11 or 12-- just depends on how much they have developed by then! It's not only about trusting them, it's about trusting the environment in which they will be. As we all know as parents, there are a lot of external influences on our children that we can't necessarily prepare them for!


You're talking about such a small sample size though, 2 screenings out of how many a day?  A week? A year?  You're more likely to get in a car accident on the way to the movie theater


I think 11 or 12 sounds like a good age. I wouldn't focus too much on those shootings though- those kinds of tragic events happen whether children go to the movies on their own or with their parents or with an entire security brigade. I don't mean that parents shouldn't take precautions, but not letting your kids go to the movies because of two movie theater shootings seems a little overdone. 

Frugal Minded M...

I trust my kids, but not always the other people at the theaters.  So for me the earliest they would go is at 14.


My kids were in 7th grade and a parent dropped off and picked up right away!


13!But I made a list of the names of the friends she was going and their phone numbers :)  (it was a day movie too. Never allowed them to go at nights)


Following this one. My son is almost 12...and I am thinking maybe 13 would be good for him. It's not so much that I don't trust my's other people I am worried about.