My 14-year-old daughter asked if she could invite some of her friends over while they were on Winter Break. Of course, I said yes. I then asked how many girls she wanted to have over. She said about 10 girls and 5 boys. Really? Boys?

I shouldn’t be too surprised. My daughter has a ton of friends that are boys. She has always made friends easily and I see her at school functions talking to girls and boys alike. My daughter is not boy-crazy. Many girls in her school are “dating”. I have to tell you how stupid that really is. No one has jobs. No one can drive. They don’t actually go anywhere. Yet they are dating. My daughter feels the same way and although she may have crushes or “like” some boy, she is not “dating”. She just wanted to include these boys because she likes hanging out with them.

We ordered pizza, bought some snacks and pop and prepared to have 16 teenagers in our basement. I asked her what she was planning on doing and she said they would play Just Dance and karaoke on the Wii and listen to music. Okay, sounded easy enough.

My husband and I hung out upstairs, but we ventured down to deliver food and clean up as the night went on. Every time we went downstairs, we saw happy teenagers engaging in conversation, eating, laughing, singing and playing the Wii. There was no drama. No girls ran up the stairs and locked themselves in the bathroom because some boy wouldn’t talk to her. No couple hid in the closet and made out. No one asked to turn the lights off. No one tried to spike the pop. These were just good kids – boys and girls – hanging out together and having a good time.

At 10:00, everyone’s parents came to pick them up. Some came in and met us. Others texted their kids “I’m here”. Each teenager thanked us for having them over. One boy offered to help clean up. Another boy shook my husband’s hand and said “Good to meet you and thank you for having me over”. He then turned to me and did the same thing. (My daughter has been given permission to marry him!) It was a good night.

The next week we were discussing the gathering with our friends. They have a daughter that is the same age and goes to the same school. They were surprised that we would have a boy-girl party. They said that they heard that boy-girl parties were “mosh pits with bumping and grinding going on”. The girls were the instigators and created most of the drama. Of course, their daughter was not a part of these parties; this is just what she heard.

If there is any truth in that story, I blame the host parents. Where were they when all of this was going on? We stayed out of the way, but made our presence known. And what about the parents of the kids that came to these parties? Maybe the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. I am a big believer in organized activities and knowing who your kids are hanging out with. If your kids are involved in activities (all of my daughter’s friends from the party are in music), they will have confidence in themselves and not need all the drama and bumping and grinding in order to have a good time.

I am proud of the person my daughter has become. She is smart, confident and a good judge of people. Her friends can come over anytime!

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