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When are Kids Old Enough to Attend Concerts?

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Q: Some of my daughter’s 11- and 12-year-old friends want to go to a concert alone, and she is begging me to let her do the same. I don’t think they’re old enough to go to a concert without an adult, so I keep saying “no.” Am I wrong?

A: If you check the blogs the tweens and teens write, you will find that many teens believe 11- and 12- ear-olds are too young to go to many concerts, much less go alone. 

If your daughter does not want to be chaperoned, how is she going to get there? Who is buying the ticket? All of this involves adults, and if a group of 11- and 12- year-olds wants to attend, what do other parents think? You do not have to go with others’ actions if you feel differently. Having a responsible adult with a young group can serve a very important protective factor, especially if something happens either with the band, concert-goers, or at the facility where the concert is being held.

First, there is the question, should she go or not? There could be a reason for you to think your daughter isn’t ready to go to a specific concert alone. When we talk about concerts, we need to talk about what concert, who is attending, how they will be getting there, and where the concert will be held, along with whether or not there is a need for adult supervision.

You might feel absolutely trusting of your daughter’s choices and behavior when you are apart, but you can’t control what other concert-goers might do. Knowing the friends who will be attending and understanding that you don’t have any control over others’ behavior should influence your decision. 

Your first step in thinking about granting permission to attend any concert is finding out about the musicians. Watching MTV or YouTube videos, listening to lyrics and researching whatever else you can about the artist will help. Many ticket sellers will post warnings about profanity and sexual innuendo in a performance. There are some performers such as Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift that would be perfect for a chaperoned 12-year-old. This requires research on both you and your daughter’s part.

Another factor involves the venue of the concert. Many parents feel comfortable if it is held in a “teens only” facility or a church location. Others think the BOK Center could be safe but other venues may be better for older audiences. Does the location matter to you?

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