The Dixie Classic Fair starts tonight in Winston-Salem. You know what that means, your teens want to go, but not with you. And as parents, you might want to know if and when you should let your teenagers go to the fair alone.
Before you make a decision, consider your kid's age and responsibility level. Basing your decision on their age alone is a mistake. Let's say you have a 14 year old who isn't responsible, doesn't follow house rules and gets into trouble. What makes you think that they'll follow rules at the fair when you're not around.
If you decide that your teen is mature and responsible enough to go alone, give safety expectations as well as rules. Have a designated meeting spot and pick up time. Clearly state what they’re allowed to do and not do such as rides they can't ride, if they're allowed to leave the fair and come back, what to do if they get stuck on a ride. Who to turn to for help.
I’m a mom of two kids and my kids would tell you that I’m a bit over of the top when it comes to their safety. Regardless of your position about how much supervision you think kids need, you should talk to them about how to handle tricky situations. What should they do if people are bothering them, following them, making them feel uncomfortable. You can't assume your kids will handle situations the way you would. The point isn't to scare, but to educate them.
Blanca Cobb is a WFMY News 2 Contributing Editor, body language expert and keynote speaker/corporate trainer who covers nonverbal communication, psychology and behavior. Follow her @blancacobb. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively hers.