Do they ever get into trouble?

Angela posted this to the Always Learning list, and is letting me save it here. The title of her post was this:

Fell in shit and came out smelling like roses - teenage trouble

I have an unschooled teenager story of moral character to share. My dd went to a sleepover party with ten girls. They had fun and played some pranks, most of which were harmless. One of the pranks ended up not being quite so harmless however, and my dd was right in the middle of it, though several of the girls were involved.

It involved a prank phone call that was not very nice to a girl that some of the other girls at the party knew, but that my dd did not know. (this was the first time she had met two of the girls who go to an expensive private school) Unbeknownst to my dd, the reason for the call was based in jealousy and the unkindness was not a joke. The girl who received the prank call, which was mean, but was not threatening in any way, had previously received a threatening call from another group of girls, which included a girl at this party; the girl whose idea it was to make the call.

Anyway, when it all shook out, the mom of the girl who receive the prank call, called the home where the party was, and threatened to call the police and the host of the party called the parents of all the kids at the party. It was the morning after the sleepover. When I arrived the house was full of crying teenagers and upset parents. When the host mom asked who had made the call, my dd immediately spoke up and took the blame. The host mom knew that my dd did not know the girl who was called but that some other girls did. My daughter was the ONLY girl who spoke up and took the blame for the incident even when put under a fair amount of pressure. The other few girls that were directly involved looked ridiculous while trying to avoid the blame.

The parents were all upset and didn't seem to know what to do so I took it into my own hands and asked for a phone and a private place to make a call. My dd and I called the family and talked at length with the girl who received the call and her mom. They accepted my dd's apology and were very gracious. They understood that my dd got caught up in the moment and that she was not behind the meanness that was intended.

We did what we could to make it right and we both felt better after talking with the daughter and the mom. The police were not called, though I was not worried if they had been. I have to say I wondered how the parents of my kids' friends would react once it all shook out and my daughter was the one at fault for executing the plan.

To my surprise, they (the two moms whose opinions I care about) were very pleased with my dd because she was honest and forthright when confronted. They did not place the blame solely on my dd and in fact, they felt that more of the blame was lying in the lap of the girl whose idea it was in the first place. I was very pleased that in the end they only saw the good moral character of my dd shining forth and they have been great about letting our kids hang out together since then.

original, on Always Learning, September 19, 2010

An addendum from Angela:
I forgot to mention, that the host mom called me later that day after she had had time to think about it more and she called to tell me that there were no hard feelings and that she was actually really proud of my daughter for having the integrity to stand up and say she was involved and that she was sorry. She told me she was glad that her dd had a friend like that. It ended better than I could have hoped for.

Plus, on the way over, I sort of threatened my husband to not say anything negative to my dd because I know her well enough to know that she would already be beating herself up over her bad choice. I was so proud of him; when we got home he gave her a big hug and told her he was proud of her for handling it so well. My dd announced at that point that she was never going to make a crank call again. She definitely learned a lesson or two from that experience. (and one was not to trust people you don't know)


Intro to Sandra Dodd's story of Holly Dodd getting into trouble with the law, April 26, 2009:
Each of our children has been in trouble with the law now.

Kirby drove his friend Joey home about four blocks, and he forgot to turn his headlights on. We went to court and they let him pay the fine without talking to the judge.

Marty was on a playground in a public park after hours (parks close at 10:00 or 10:30)--not drinking, not doing anything but playing on the slides with three other people, one 21 and the others 18, 19. He did two days of community service at the Red Cross office. (He reminded me that he also was ticketed for stopping too hard at a stop light. He stopped, but not gracefully, and we went to court and he paid a fine and went to a driving class. No alcohol nor any other such thing involved.)

Holly's is slightly worse than these... read the rest here

Unschooled Teens: How are they as people?

teen angst

more on unschooling teens