Whether it happens at six or 16, your kids will eventually want to go to music concerts. Before you automatically say "yes" or "no," consider whether certain types of events are appropriate for children their ages.
Children Under 12
Image via Flickr by Alpha
As a basic rule, children under 12 should not go to concerts. If you and your child have bonded over a certain band, then you might break this rule, but only if you go with them and pay close attention. A lot of parents worry about drugs, violence, and predators at concerts, but you don't even have to think about those dangerous things when considering whether you're pre-teen can go to a concert. At that age, can they even stay up late enough to enjoy themselves, or will they just fall asleep on the floor? Some concerts, of course, are specifically set up for families with small children. Those shouldn't give you any concern, but you should still chaperone.
Young Teens (12-15)
Image via Flickr by San Jose Library
At 12, your teenager will probably want a little more freedom. They have started to build their own lives and social groups, putting more pressure on them to live independent. Don't forget, though, that they are still children, no matter how grown-up they like to act.
You can probably let your young teenager go to a concert as long as a responsible adult chaperones. Even with a chaperone, though, you should consider
• What kind of message the music conveys
• Whether the venue is safe
• How late the event will last
• Whether alcohol is sold at the concert
If you feel uncomfortable with the band, venue, or other aspects of the concert, put your foot down and say "no."
Teenagers Who Drive (16-17)
Image via Flickr by State Farm
You can give your teenagers a little more freedom to explore the world once they turn 16, but you need to make sure that you stay involved in their lives so they can make wise decisions. Even good kids can make bad mistakes.
Even though your teenager will want to make his or her own decisions, you still need to do research and weigh in to help them decide whether they should go to certain concerts. Some concerts are almost immediately acceptable for these kids. You can buy them Jason Aldean tickets because you know he doesn't encourage violence or use overtly sexual language.
If you feel at all uneasy, buy yourself a separate ticket and monitor them from a distance. That way, they can have a good time and you can keep an eye on them.
Image via Flickr by Bill Risser
Just because your teen turns 18 doesn't mean that he or she has magically become immune to the dangers of some concerts and venues. At this point, though, you should let them make their own decisions. Don't tell your 18-year-old son that he cannot go see his favorite band. He will just go without your permission.
Instead, make sure that your adult teens know about the dangers that they might encounter. Talk to them about alcohol and drugs; let them know that they can always call you for help; and make sure they understand how to stay safe.
Parents never like to let go, but at a certain point you have to trust that you have done a good job raising your children. Then, it's best to offer advice rather than inflict rules.