Talk Amongst Yourselves

Man, it's really rough when I've got a bunch of family drama (nothing too bad, just silly) going on in the background and the frustration of having met Mr. Great-Conversation-but-Totally-Off-Limits (not for really moral or legal reasons, lest anyone's thoughts head in that direction) this past weekend, and I really can't talk about either situation here. Or just about anywhere. Sigh.

So I'll give you a discussion topic: Boundaries. Specifically, what to do if some of the really nice teens in the teen group you oversee (say, at a library) invite you to come with them to a post-meeting movie next time around. Most of the group going is girls but there are a few boys, if that matters. Does it violate an authoritative boundary to go? Or any other kind of boundary?

What say you, blogfriends?


Warren said…
It's just a movie. Authority? I don't think so. Watching a movie with innapropriate content, content you wouldn't want to explain to their parents, maybe that would be bad.

But a nice clean fun movie? No problem.

Re: The other things. I am endlessly grateful for my best friend, that I can tell everything to. Much better than blathering on about private stuff on one's blog. I've learned my lesson on that.


Anonymous said…
I agree with Warren. I'm not very far removed from that age. Even now in my club at college, we regularly would hang out with our advisor after meetings. The authority remained, perhaps in part because we are all 18+ (and some of us closer to 25 heh).
Amy Giglio said…
I guess it depends on how old they are. I work with 8th graders, one of whom tried to friend me on facebook, and I've had to call some of their cell phone numbers or send them texts. I sent an email to facebook girls' parents asking them to tell their daughter that while their daughter's note was lovely and she's a great kid, I have a personal policy not to friend anyone under 18 who isn't family. And after I sent the few text messages I've needed to, I deleted them from my phone.

Given where I work, my policy has been strictly no to hanging out with people under 18 without their parents present. And since I'm sure some of them have googled me, I don't write about them or almost anything from work anymore. kind of leavevs my blog in an identity crisis, but what are you going to do?
Dave E. said…
I hate to say it, but be careful about anything with kids that is outside of your job description. You may suddenly find people trying to hold you to account for something the kids did because "you were the adult, why didn't you do something?"

What Amy said is good also I think. If you do go ahead, I think you should consider having another adult friend tag along. That changes the dynamic a little and makes it less risky for you. I know you wouldn't do anything inappropriate, but innocent people do get accused of that and you don't want to be in a your word against a kid's word situation. Crap, I hate writing that, but that's the way it is.
Kate P said…
Warren--I'm not quite sure that you got that the post was about boundaries. My teens are going to a movie theater, having decided what they wanted to see; this is not a movie I'm showing as an event in the library. I don't get where I'd be responsible for their movie choices, and no parent (at least where I come from) would seek to blame me. I mean, they're not using me to get into an R-rated movie, if that is the concern. (Jeez, I said they were really nice.) I firmly believe they have a responsibility to their parents as well as to their peers, and I communicate that belief to them constantly and consistently to them, and hold them to it. If they choose a movie they know their parents would or did not allow, I would be disappointed in them, and they know that. I am more concerned about how much of me I want them to see outside of my role as their group advisor.
Also, I'm confused about implications you present at the end of your comment. I've been fortunate to have great commenters on any topic I've chosen to bring up thus far, so anything relating to privacy is more about sparing them than me. And the best friend thing? Did you not notice I said I had no place to discuss? A little insensitive to basically announce you're thankful you're not stuck like me. Next time, please read and comment a little more carefully. (Sorry to sound a little teacher-y there. I can't help it.)

AC22--I'd agree with you in that situation, sure. College can be a great equalizer. Bit more of an age difference here. I have a few high school classmates who have children their age (16-17).

Amy G--Oh, yeah, the FB thing is awkward. I remember Dr. Red's being less than thrilled that some of her former students (now in college) were trying to "friend" her last Fall. Yet another reason I'm not on FB. I think you're helping me see what probably is the true concern here--I really don't think I want to have a social relationship with these teens, at least not while I am their advisor. Sorry about your blog situation, BTW! Some of those one-topic blogs make a lot of sense, don't they? Music/knitting/food--nothing else!

Dave--yeah, good suggestion to bring someone, because it would remind them I'm not their age. I don't think I have that as an option, unfortunately.
Mr. Bingley said…
I agree with Dave. You can't be the only adult there.

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