Evaluating Your Child for Independent Travel

Many parents struggle with when to start allowing their teens to travel with friends without adult supervision. While 18 is the magical age of adulthood, not all teens are equally mature and ready for the same level of responsibility at that age. If only there were some test that we could just give our teens that would tell us, “Yes, they are ready,” or “No, they aren’t.” Until then, parents will need to get the information they need another way – by talking with your teen and trusting your own judgement. You are the expert on your teen – you’ve known them all of their lives – so who better to make the decision? Not sure how to begin? Start by listening to what your teen is requesting and planning to get a feel for how seriously they have considered details of the trip. Consider the dangers and possible alternatives that may lessen those dangers. Also talk with the other parents involved – they may be as concerned as you and are hoping someone else will support their position. Check out this article for more tips and questions to consider and to hear one mother’s discussion of how she made her decision.

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