I'm finding there's lots to learn about parenting a 16 year old who has just started sixth form college.
An undisclosed number of years ago when I was 16, there had to be a certain permanence to arrangements. Without mobile phones it was difficult getting in touch with large groups of people to arrange and then re-arrange plans. Not anymore. I never quite know with any certainty when Folly 1 will be home. As we get in the car to drop Folly 1 at her meeting point I never quite know exactly where I am taking her. No worries when there's just yourself to think about but as I'm co-ordinating activities for 3 other Follies as well I'm finding all this flexibility rather difficult.
In order to circumvent the problems of providing a proof of age the 16 year olds today seem to have parties. There seem to be a steady supply of teenagers with available barns or sheds who host these parties (or gatherings as they euphemistically have become known). This then leads to the conundrum of drinks to take to these gathering and so it goes on ...
We have had a sudden re-analysis of our boundaries here at the Follies and also the reasons for these boundaries.
We have also come to realise that by the age of 16 our job is almost done. Folly 1 is Folly 1 with all her lovable and not quite so lovable idiosyncrasies.
We love her and will always do what we can to support her when she wants our help, but realise that our way may not be her way. So now we must try to advise only when asked, recognise that her choices though different from our own are still viable and allow her to make and learn from her own mistakes.
Oh, but it's hard and toddler temper tantrums seem so much more manageable!