Should You Let Your Teen Go to a Concert Alone? 5 Questions to Ask First

When is your teen ready to go to a concert alone?
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Going to a concert without a parent can be a rite of passage for many teens. But, letting your teen go to a show without a chaperone can be a frightening prospect.

Certainly, not all concerts—and not all teens—are created equal. If your teen wants to go to a concert without an adult, here are five questions you should ask yourself first:

1. What type of concert is it?

They type of music your teen wants to listen to makes a big difference in the type of audience that will be in attendance.

If your teen is interested in a boy band like New Direction, or a singer like Justin Bieber, the crowd should be fairly tame. But, a heavy metal concert or an alternative rock band may attract an older, and perhaps rougher, crowd.

Pay close attention to your teen’s music. Listen to the lyrics and get a clear idea about the type of message a band is sending.

Look for news stories about the band to see if there have been problems at any of their previous concerts. Look at the band’s social media profiles to get an idea of the type of things they share with their audience as well. Their interaction with their fans can give you some great insight into the type of crowd they attract.

2. What’s the venue like?

Concert venues vary greatly in terms of safety issues, crowd control, and security rules. Go to the venue’s website and review their protocols.

Look at the seating arrangements and check out the venue’s policy on alcoholic beverages.

Concerts that serve alcohol in a venue with few restrictions could be a bad idea.

Consider the venue’s location as well. Is it located in an accessible area or will you have difficulty waiting in a nearby place for the concert to end?

Make sure to examine the venue’s policy on smartphones as well. Some venues don’t allow cameras, which means smartphones aren’t allowed.

A venue that won’t allow your teen to carry a smartphone could prevent you from communicating before, during, and after the concert.

3. Is your teen mature enough to handle potential problems?

There are lots of potential things that could go wrong during a concert. Will your teen know how to respond if a crowd starts to get out of control? Would your teen know how to handle an emergency situation, like an evacuation of the event? It’s important to ensure that your teen have the knowledge and maturity to deal with problems without panic.

It’s also important to consider your teen’s ability to resist the peer pressure. Sometimes, concerts offer alcohol, drugs, and a variety of opportunities for teens to make poor choices. Before sending your teen off to a concert, make sure can make good choices, amidst the excitement.

4. Who is going with your teen?

It’s important to consider who will be attending the concert with your teen. Do you trust that your teen’s friends can make good decisions? If not, a concert may not be a good place for them to be unchaperoned.

You may also want to consider alternatives to allowing your teen to attend the concert completely unchaperoned. For example, is there an older sibling or trusted babysitter who could go? Could you attend the concert with the agreement that you’ll stay several rows behind your teen? These options may help you feel more confident about your teen’s concert attendance.

5. Is your teen ready for more freedom?

Your teen’s behavior should be the biggest factor when making the decision. Your teen’s ability to follow the rules and behave responsibly is a sign that she’s ready for more freedom.

If however, you can’t trust her to tell the truth, or she doesn’t follow your rules, she may not yet be mature enough to have added responsibility. If you decide that your teen isn’t quite ready to go on such a big adventure on her own, make it clear what behavior you’d need to see from her so she’d know when she’s ready. Explain that when she shows she can handle her current responsibilities, you’ll know she’s ready for more independence.

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