DEAR HARRIETTE: My teenage daughter wants to go to a rap concert with her friends. She is so excited about the possibility. She and her friends listen to the artist all the time. I allowed her to go to another big concert this summer with friends, and she did well. I told her she can go this time if she has a buddy who agrees to stay with her during the whole concert. If they buddy up and follow the basic directions that we have given them their whole lives, I anticipate they will be fine. These concerts have lots of security.
Once I got comfortable with the idea, I discovered that her friend’s mom is nervous and doesn’t want to let her daughter go. I believe that we can’t protect our children from everything, and I do think we can let them go as long as they make smart choices. What should I say to this mom? -- Let Them Go
DEAR LET THEM GO: You have entered the phase of parenting teenagers where you will constantly be evaluating freedom versus safety. Every parent wants to protect their child from potential harm. Going to a large concert has its challenges. The very nature of a large crowd is at the top of the list. Go through your checklist of precautions with the other parent and explain that you believe that if your daughters follow them, they will be as safe as possible. Share your perspective, making it clear that you do not have a crystal ball, but you trust your daughter and want to give her this opportunity.
You might also ask your daughter to think of another friend who may want to go with her. You should not pressure this mother too much. State your case and move on, if necessary. For your peace of mind, you want your teen to go with another person who shares your values and whose parent is on board.