Mums' NYE deal with daughters
CLUNES mums Kim Flynn and Rebecca Coronakes took a proactive approach to their 16-year-old daughters’ demands to join in this year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations in Byron Bay.
Fearful of the Bay’s NYE reputation, while at the same time reluctant to wrap their daughters in cotton wool, the mothers made a deal with the girls – they could go but only if they let their mums come along (discretely of course) and they checked in regularly.
“That was the deal – either we go or you don’t,” said a bemused Ms Flynn.
“Initially they were horrified, but eventually they agreed.”
While most parents might balk at the prospect of subjecting themselves to the revelling throng of 15,000 youth, Ms Flynn and Coronakes took up the challenge. The two mums donned their party clothes, left their partners and families at home and ventured down to the Bay with their 16-year-old daughters.
“It worked out well. We got a park close to town and ended up enjoying ourselves,” she said.
“We just wandered around, sat down here and there and checked in with the girls periodically by phone.
“Sure we stood out as oldies so of course we didn’t go near the girls. That would have been ‘social death’ for them – but they hadn’t been to NYE in Byron before and we just wanted to make sure they got home safely.
“And we were surprised – there were lots of young people just out having a good time. It was pretty low-key and well organised and overall we were impressed.”
North Coast family counsellor Paula Baruksopulo applauded both the mums’ approach, and the daughters’ response, though she was reluctant to generalise about the issue as all teenagers mature differently.
She stressed it was all about relationship and communication.
“Negotiation is essential to making such arrangements work and the child must be willing,” she said.
Ms Baruksopulo explained that it takes a well-developed relationship between parent and child, otherwise adolescents will read it as interference rather than genuine care and interest.
“It very much depends on the personality of the child, and their relationship with their parents.”