La Croix: Do children like to party with their parents?
Patrice Huerre: Before puberty, in general, it’s a good surprise for a child to see his parents partying. Children find this change of roles funny, where all of a sudden the parents, who usually embody a form of order, do everything backwards: go to bed late, laugh, relax, dance.
→ ANALYSIS. On New Year’s Eve, the very first New Year’s Eve without his parents
Adolescents, on the other hand, may feel uncomfortable seeing their parents in some sort of shameless regression. They are a little shocked to find that behind the serious familiar figure they know, hides someone less homogeneous than they thought. Not everyone reacts like that, and that’s okay too. But at the moment, they may not like it so much.
What is transmitted in the party?
PH: I think that all the interest is, precisely, to discover a new facet of the personality of each one, which is not very frequent. For example, young people get a glimpse of what their parents were like at their age. It is often an opportunity for parents to share memories, tell anecdotes and thus pass on a little of their history.
In this form of meeting, the music also plays an important link. A few decades ago, it was used by young people to stand out from their elders. This was the case, of course, in the 1970s but also until the 1990s. Music is no longer a ground of confrontation, on the contrary. Young people certainly have their own tastes – we know how much they love rap, for example – but they can also find it funny to dance to the hits of their parents’ youth, or even their grandparents. They don’t deny the festive side of disco, for example.
Beyond New Years Eve, do you think it’s a chance for a young person to grow up in a family that loves to party?
PH: Yes, but only if the parents are really comfortable with it. There are indeed serious families, where parents are no longer used to being in the game. These differences can be explained by patterns of personality construction in the early stages of life. Some adults do not have the capacity to have fun without shame and without complex in front of their own children. It seems to me that the best thing then is to recognize it and accept that the next generation can do differently.
During this great festive gathering that represents New Year’s Eve, these parents can get help from others, by inviting a more comfortable family, who will know how to give the the festivities. It is, indeed, good to keep a party space in the family. The children are then taken in a joyful atmosphere. They also have the chance to meet a lot of adults, which gives them different role models and can reassure them.