The New York Times Motherlode seeks Jeremy’s help to resolve a quandary

The New York Times Motherlode section has been featuring parenting quandaries and asking experts to respond and give their feedback and perspective. This week Jeremy Schneider was chosen as one of the experts included in the quandary resolution.

The quandary involved teenagers coming over to a house to watch Glee. The mother, called Sylvia in the article, prepared the basement so the teens could watch down there. She had checked on them and they seemed fine, but she received reports from her daughter that a couple of the kids seemed “drunk” though the mother was not convinced her younger daughter knew what that really meant.

The next day one of her teenage daughter’s friends remarked that she thought two of the boys had been drinking–possibly before they even had gotten to the house (since there was no alcohol for the teens to drink in the basement).

The quandary was should the mother tell the parents of the two boys–especially considering the mother of one of the boys in question picked up her son after the Glee party. Jeremy’s full response was

Sylvia seems to have done quite a bit to prepare an environment for her kids’ friends so they could enjoy Glee together safely. There’s no way she can control what they do before or after they are at her house. Should she have checked in on them while they were watching the show–especially after her daughter reported them acting weird? Maybe. But her daughter confirmed that they weren’t drinking in the basement; should Sylvia kick the boys out for “acting strangely” in front of her daughter and her friends? If she had seen evidence of them drinking, there would be a stronger reason to contact the boys’ parents. But especially since one of the boys’ parents actually saw them immediately after the gathering, there is no reason to contact the parents.

She can sleep peacefully at night knowing she did well as a parent that night.


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