Friday, February 23, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Motherhood commentary: When party's over, teens face consequences

“No parties while I'm gone."

I imagine that nine out of 10 times, those words are spoken after the invites have already been Facebooked and texted and the address has been tweeted.

An unsupervised high school house party. Drinking, girl drama, boyfriend drama, vomiting and cleaning up a trashed house? At 37, I'll pass.

But at 17? They don't know.

So, they proceed with plans to throw the party just minutes after the parental units ask them not to. Mom and dad barely get out of the subdivision before they start moving the furniture.

They're naive enough to believe that not only will their friends respect their home, the party will be limited to those invited.

Poor things. Listen up kids. This is how it really goes.

People will find out and some 70-plus kids that you don't even know — even "kids" who graduated four years ago — will show up wanting to know "Is this the house to have a good time?"

Someone will bring alcohol. Someone else will bring marijuana. If you're lucky, that's all they will bring.

Around 2:30 a.m., you, or one of your besties, will wonder if this was really a good idea. Someone having a great time will inevitably utter the words, "Of course it is. Look around. It's a success." It will be a sad attempt to rid you of those undesirable second thoughts and convince you to keep it going.

If the cops don't arrive to break up the festivities, someone who cares enough about you, or your parents, will ask people to leave. The damage will begin to sink in.

Beer bottles, cans and cigarette butts will dot the yard, maybe even the house. Furniture will be damaged. Patio furniture will be bent. You'll notice someone consumed the alcohol hidden in the garage. A broken mirror will sit in one room, and a full 52-ounce Big Gulp will be splattered in the middle of the living room.

The remainder of the once-cream-colored carpet looks grayish black. Oh, and someone threw up in your bed.

Panic will set in. There's no way to make the house look as it did before the party. Mom will be home in the early afternoon. Does fear kick in? Or denial?

Yes. Denial.

"We didn't have a party. Just a few friends came over and we spilled a glass of sweet tea on the carpet."

It's not difficult in this day and age to find the evidence plastered all over Twitter and Instagram.

The betrayal felt by your parents is indescribable. And the nonchalant attitude you teenagers exhibit will infuriate. The consequences to this party will run deeper than the stain on the carpet.

And truthfully, the feeling of betrayal and the loss of trust will be placed on the back burner.

What you failed to realize is your parents don't own the home you live in. It's a privilege given by the landlord to live there. And if the neighbors complain, you can be denied renewing your lease, or worse, evicted.

One of those kids could have jumped from the top of the shed, believed he could fly after guzzling too much beer. He could sue the family for every penny.

One kid could have driven others home drunk, killed a family coming from Novemberfest — and killed the friends in their car.

As parents, we fully recognize that you teenagers aren't cognizant of these consequences. It's the main reason we said no parties. It wasn't to ruin your social life and make you miserable.

We know you think the party was worth it. We just want to make sure the punishment is, too.

For now, you will just have to be cognizant of what it's like to reside in the four walls of said party home, without a cellphone, laptop and company.

In the end, the party doesn't sit well with the parents and the punishment doesn't agree with the kids. But neither act reduces the love. It's just the consequences of being in a parent-child relationship.

Party on, kids.

Heather Tempesta is a Brandon single mother of two sons, 17 and 10, and a daughter, 15.

Comments
Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

TAMPA — Could your 4-year-old be the next Lulu? A touring Broadway show wants to find out. Waitress, which runs April 24-29 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, is looking for a local 4- to 5-year old to play a small but c...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Tell Me About It: Teacher distant after co-worker’s faux pas

I am a teacher at a large high school, and typically only interact with those in my wing of the school. On the first day we returned from break, I bumped into "Polly" while signing in and cheerfully asked, "How was your [vacation]?" She glared at me ...
Published: 02/23/18

Tell Me About It: Daughter needs an ear, not to be rescued

Q: My daughter is in a relationship with her high school boyfriend. They are now living together in a different state with no relatives nearby. My daughter, 25, is a people person with a bubbly personality and makes friends easily. Her boyfriend does...
Published: 02/22/18
Plan your weekend: Monster Energy Supercross. Gasparilla Distance Classic, Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, slam poet Neil Hilborn

Plan your weekend: Monster Energy Supercross. Gasparilla Distance Classic, Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, slam poet Neil Hilborn

Extreme Monster Energy Supercross Championship: The action-packed dirt bike stunts and racing returns to Tampa for the first time in two decades. Each track in the 16-city series is different, so competitors will ride between 15 and 20 laps around t...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/22/18
As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

Can you feel it? The air is gradually thickening with humidity and the layers of clothes are getting thinner. Spring has almost sprung and with it brings a bumper crop of festivals in Florida’s theme parks full of food, wine, concerts and parades. Th...
Published: 02/21/18
In theaters this week: ‘Annihilation’ based on Florida author Jeff VanderMeer’s book, ‘Game Night,’ ‘Every Day’

In theaters this week: ‘Annihilation’ based on Florida author Jeff VanderMeer’s book, ‘Game Night,’ ‘Every Day’

ANNIHILATIONAuthor Jeff VanderMeer told me at last year’s Times Festival of Reading that Annihilation (R) is going to blow everyone’s mind. The Tallahassee author is biased, of course, having written the novel it’s based on, but there’s some reason t...
Published: 02/21/18
Top things to do this weekend: Supercross Championship, Olate Dogs, Gasparilla Distance Classic

Top things to do this weekend: Supercross Championship, Olate Dogs, Gasparilla Distance Classic

BIKE RACE: Monster Energy Supercross ChampionshipThe action-packed dirt bike stunts and racing of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship return to Tampa for the first time in two decades. Motorcyclists will race at more than 60 mph and fly off ju...
Published: 02/21/18
This week’s top concerts: Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Clearwater Sea-Blues and more

This week’s top concerts: Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Clearwater Sea-Blues and more

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Willie NelsonI’m sure that when Willie Nelson had to postpone his recent Clearwater concert after a bout with the flu, you, like me, took the news well, spitting through clenched teeth: "OH NO YOU DON’T, 2018. YOU WILL NOT TAKE WIL...
Published: 02/21/18
Green Thumb, Flamingo Festival and more spring festivals coming to Tampa Bay

Green Thumb, Flamingo Festival and more spring festivals coming to Tampa Bay

spring eventsFlamingo FestivalHelp celebrate the young flock of flamingos that recently arrived at Sunken Gardens at a colorful festival with live music, kids activities, and beer and wine for sale. Wear pink for $1 off admission. $10, $8 seniors, $4...
Published: 02/21/18
5 things to do under $5: The Romantics, Free Hugs Guy, Ybor Fiesta Day

5 things to do under $5: The Romantics, Free Hugs Guy, Ybor Fiesta Day

1Blast Friday: This block party in downtown Clearwater brings a free show by the Romantics, right, the power pop new wave band that brought us What I Like About You and Talking in Your Sleep. There’s also a family-friendly food and craft vendor...
Published: 02/21/18