“Jaw With John” – Typical Teens, Can’t Control Their Volume

My husband and I have a 15-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old son. We both work full time. We are generally happy for the kids to have their friends at our house. We have a finished basement with a 70-inch TV — the largest in the house. The basement is carpeted and has a couch, chairs and a foosball table.

One problem: When our daughter has her friends over, they are SO LOUD.

It is fine when they are in the basement. When they are in the kitchen and we are in the den (next to each other), we have a volume battle. She gets peeved with us because we ask her to ask them to lower their volume.

She shushes her friends and they in turn get peeved with her, saying they can’t make any noise in our house. True passive-aggressive teenage behavior.

This, of course, means her friends don’t want to come to our home because they can’t “be themselves.” We do not think it is too much to ask that they hold down the volume. She suggests we watch TV in our bedroom. Are we alone in thinking this is crazy? Why should we be expected to stay in our room while our daughter entertains her friends? — *A House Divided By Noise

Dear House:

These girls just want attention. They congregate in the kitchen because they want to be heard. It’s a classic teenager move. They are also just that – teenagers – so naturally, they are going to be loud. If I had a nickel for every time a girl in my middle school got loud when talking to another girl, I’d have a shit load of nickels. (I don’t have a good frame of reference on High School behavior since I went to an all guys school.)

You shouldn’t be expected to stay in your room in your house while they are there. You are opening up your house to her friends and they should behave themselves accordingly. The next time they get loud in the kitchen, ask that the girls take their gathering into the basement where they can be as loud as they want. From what it sounds like, they couldn’t care less about the foosball table.

You sound disappointed that her friends might not want to hang out at your house.¬†Given all the drama and baggage teenage girls carry, I don’t understand why. If they can’t behave themselves and follow your rules then they won’t hang out there and you’ll have a quiet house.

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