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I am a homeschooled by my own choosing and in 9th grade so attend quite a few camps. At one of my summer camps last year, I met several people who are very similar to me and we have kept in touch ever since. Several of them would like to meet somewhere within an hour's drive from my house and have invited me to come The only problem is that until this, I haven't really socialized with anyone my age as I am homeschooled and in a region that doesn't really value academics as a whole very much and as a result of this, I have kept to myself and not really talked about my friends much. My parents desperately want me to succeed in life and have told me that if I ever want to visit anyone I can as long as it doesn't affect my academics.

I just don't know how to approach this with my parents because the last time I went to a friend's house I was 6 years old and I haven't told them about my friends since. If it matters, it is 1 girl and one boy (plus me) that want to get together.

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    My initial thought is just to tell them you want to go meet friends. But I suspect you have specific worries about what might happen. What are those? If we know, we can address them specifically. – Becuzz Dec 7 '16 at 20:02
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    I really don't know... my parents almost destroyed all of my trust because they put a ton of parental controls only computer and constantly ask about various websites I visit (mostly programming documentation and references) along with trying to check my email once in a while. part of it is also the fact that I am homeschooled and have never really "had anyone over" or gone to visit anyone. – Name Dec 7 '16 at 20:06
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    What age are you and your new friends? 9th grade is not universally understood. – Diego Sánchez Dec 7 '16 at 21:31
  • I too am homeschooled... So I feel your pain :) Perhaps consider asking your parents if they have a problem with you meeting with some friends you made at camp. Do not pull into the equation whether or not you have stayed in touch with them (unless it is directly asked). If they're good with it or skeptical, perhaps you all could arrange to meet at a coffee shop or some such. – L.B. Dec 8 '16 at 13:46
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    @Name - if you check out this very website (Parenting) you will notice that many parents completely freak out at the idea that their kids discover bad content on the internet. What your parents are doing is 100% normal (other than being educated enough to know how to install parental controls, which is rare), and likely has little to do with you being homeschooled or not having close friends before. – user3143 Dec 10 '16 at 0:44
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I think you're most likely afraid of nothing. Your parents send you to camps in hopes of you making friends, and they monitor your internet usage not to prevent you from making legitimate friends, but to keep you safe. Be direct and honest about any concerns your parents have, and try not to get defensive. Just say:

<Friend1> and <Friend2> that I met at summer camp want to get together at <wherever>. We've been keeping in touch and I'd really like to go.

Your parents might have some conditions that seem unnecessary to you for the first visit, but if you accept them graciously you will earn their trust and they will give you more trust.

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The best approach is to honestly tell them exactly what you want:

  • You met friends at camp

  • You share lots of similarities

  • You wish to visit them

However, they will obviously be concerned for a couple of reasons (you haven't done this before, and they like control, being 2 obvious reasons), so you should come to the conversation prepared to address those concerns.

Being prepared would actually act as two independent pluses in your favor: first, because it will address the concerns. Second, because you being prepared will show them that you're thoughtful and mature enough to think things through.

(As a matter of fact, you may want to honestly come out and initiate that part yourself, telling them "I know you guys probably have some questions and concerns, here's what I prepared to address them". This would show them that you are both mature enough to prepare AND that you're concerned enough about their feelings and thoughts - both likely to be pluses in their minds).


What could be those concerns? Well, it's hard to know 100% sure without knowing more specifics, but be prepared for them to be interested in:

  1. What are specific plans that you and your friends have for when meeting?

    Obviously, if you have specific plans you can elaborate on, it will be far more calming to your parents.

  2. What kind of people are those friends? Are they from similar backgrounds to yours? (introverted, value learning).

  3. Why have you not told them about the friends before?

    You don't need to lie or make big story on this one. Just honestly admit that because of your past lack of experience, you were worried that your parents may be unhappy. Or that you were too shy to discuss the topic.

  4. What kind of households do they live in?

    Are their parents someone who'd take as good care of them as yours do?

    Do the house rules differ in meaningful ways? (e.g. a concern your parents may have would be if the friend's parents allow things that your parent's don't allow you - from drinking to drugs to adult entertainment). A 9th grade, some households are more relaxed about things like that than others.

    Depending on your parents, they may want to know if the households are similar culturally (e.g. if your parents are religious and observant, they might feel better if the house you're visiting follows similarly).


Bonus points to earn

  • As a parent (though younger kids than you) I always want to talk to parents of the kids if there are visits involved, beforehand. So, if you arrange with your friends to have the parents talk to each other, your parents are likely to appreciate that.

    Nothing fancy is needed - just get the friend's phone#/email, and ask them to let their parents know in advance that your parents might call to discuss the visit and why.

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