At the end of the year under Covid, New Year’s Eve will be celebrated at a minimum. No large gatherings, no apartments overloaded with revelers … In short, nothing a priori to stick to the image of Épinal on a New Year’s Eve or something to burn memories for life. Yet young teens are looking forward to this moment. Even if it means reviewing the sails and arranging the party.
→ MAINTENANCE. “Having a family party allows you to discover yourself in a different way”
Psychologist Ghislaine Szpeker-Benat also puts the weight of the health constraints required this year into perspective. “It’s okay for a teenager to party in small groups, as they are going to have to. On the contrary, they are often delighted to meet three or four. At this age, only the small core of loyal friends matters. It forms a reassuring cocoon united by similarities: same clothes, same tastes, same music… and therefore same New Year’s Eve. “
The opportunity to play adults
Thus, Alice and her friends, 15, do not want to miss the event for the world, even if it is reduced to its simplest expression. They have been preparing their New Year’s Eve for weeks, because for the first time, they will celebrate the transition to the New Year without their parents. Alice will have her first Christmas Eve. For the little band, as for all teenagers their age, this moment will inevitably be special. Put on a sequined dress, prepare a buffet, choose the music… This first New Year’s Eve will be a bit of an opportunity to play adults for an evening.
To the point of constituting a rite of passage? To be the festive and western version of the crossing of the sea in a canoe among the young boys of the Solomon Islands? ” No, of course “, moderates the psychoanalyst Alberto Eiguer (1), “Because in the traditional societies where they exist, these rites allow access to a real adult status. In comparison, the first New Year’s Eve is just one more step towards autonomy, which allows you to test your sense of responsibility. “
This experience is also important, because the date is not trivial: “Celebrating the New Year is a bit like celebrating a renewal”, continues Alberto Eiguer. Quite a symbol at the age when you want to reinvent yourself and spread your own wings. “This is why, from the point of view of adolescents, New Years Eve fulfills a very different role than Christmas”, prolongs the psychoanalyst. Even if they bring together people they love and are happy to see, family celebrations “Are very ritualistic: the dishes are always a little the same, the guests too. Everyone has some sort of role around the table, and they are the “little ones”. “ With the new year, on the other hand, they have the impression of taking a step up on the independence ladder. Celebrating the New Year is a bit like blowing out an extra candle.
Give pledges to parents
Concretely, Alice’s little band of friends got organized. On a WhatsApp group, the six guests divided the dishes to bring. Purchases of train tickets, organization of the room since some will stay to sleep on the spot… Alice also had to give pledges to her parents and negotiate the rules: they leave her at home until 1 am, but he There will be no alcohol, except a glass of champagne to accompany the 12 strokes of midnight, in agreement with the parents of the other guests.
Will all this be enough to leave an unforgettable memory? ” Without a doubt “, advances Jean-Bernard Chapelier, psychoanalyst and scholar, who has studied teenage parties. The simple fact of being in a group is of great interest to younger children, because there is no adult to dictate behavior or topics of conversation to them. But beware, he warns, that does not prevent certain disillusions, and the New Year sometimes leaves contrasting memories.
“Teenager’s parties are often a bit odd to an outside observer, he advances, because they are torn between the pleasure of finding their group of “friends”, and the sweet hope of meeting the girl or the boy of their dreams, resumes Jean-Bernard Chapelier. They make themselves beautiful in large part for that by the way. However, the group logic quickly prevails and they quite quickly end up forming two distinct groups: the girls dancing on one side, the boys chatting, and sometimes drinking on the other. The former take care of the latter when they have drunk too much. “
Set precise rules
From the parents’ point of view, this first New Year’s Eve can be scary. “The party naturally leads to excess, confirms Alberto Eiguer. However, as soon as they have their hands free, adolescents are in excess. This is why we must be clear and remember that we have the right to have fun and be happy, but not to go too far. “
→ READ. My teenager wants to organize a party: tips to follow
Concretely, it is necessary to set precise rules, on alcohol or the guests, for example. “We have the right to hold our child to account and explain to him that he must reassure us. It is necessary, for example, to know who will be there, how he plans to get there and then return from his evening, even if it means financing a taxi, supervising the consumption of alcohol when the party takes place at home, remaining reachable at all times, list Ghislaine Szpeker-Benat. We can explain to the young person that it is not a question of controlling him, or of not trusting him, but that we are worried. “
Parents’ stress is, in fact, more or less important according to their own memories of youth. “The rise of the adolescent takes us back to our own experience at the same age, not always flattering, continues the psychologist. However, we must also accept to see that this is a very good sign, which proves that the parents have worked well and given the teenager a feeling of security sufficient for him to want to fly away. “ With a few clear rules, the party shouldn’t turn into a headache for anyone.
♦ We don’t understand each other anymore
by Isabelle Filliozat, ill. Anouck Dubois, JC Lattès.
Through real life situations, which sometimes push parents to their limits, the psychotherapist gives them the keys to better understand their adolescent, and tips for settling daily negotiations.
♦ What if we love our teens?
by Marie Rose Moro and Odile Amblard, Bayard
This book opens with a pessimistic observation: adolescents are not doing well. Yet it ends with a recommendation that every parent can turn into a good New Year’s resolution: what if we trusted our teens and the world they can build?