kids at concert

Every parent knows that the clichés about kids growing up so fast are all true. Whether you like it or not, every year that passes means your little bundle of joy is one year older. And at some point, most likely in the early to mid-teen years, your kid is going to want to do more without mom or dad tagging along. Here are some tips to prepare your kids for their first concert on their own.

Decide the Right Age

This is a judgment call based on your individual child’s maturity and responsibility level. Some kids might be ready at 12 or 13, while others might need to wait a little longer. Whatever is right for your kid is something you’re going to have to decide on your own.

Pick an Appropriate Concert

Do some research on the band or singer’s fan base. A show filled with teens, like Shawn Mendes or Katy Perry, might be a more comfortable choice as opposed to one with a much older audience, like Dead and Company.

Charge Their Phone

If your kid has a phone—and if they’re concert-going age, they probably do—it’s an essential communication lifeline between you and them. Make sure they get dropped off at the venue with a fully charged phone and instruct them to keep an eye on the charge so they don’t blow through it. All those selfies, tweets and videos of the band can drain a battery pretty fast. Provide them with a battery-powered portable charger to use in the case of an emergency.

Know the Phone Policy of the Venue and Act

Some acts or venues have a phone lock-down policy, where everyone’s phone is locked in an individual bag in the lobby, and if the user has to use it during the show, they can only do so outside the theater. Knowing this beforehand can save a lot of frustration and panic over a string of unanswered texts and calls to your kid.

Make Sure They Have a Buddy System

Going to a show without parents doesn’t mean your kids should be going to a show completely alone. Help your child and their friends establish a buddy system so nobody ever finds themselves lost or on their own. That means going to the bathroom or concessions together and returning to the show as a group of at least two.

Have a Pre-Planned Meeting Location Picked Out

Despite all the planning in the world, things can happen, like a phone getting lost. Make sure you aren’t totally relying on phone communications by setting a plan for finding each other after the show.

Advance preparation can help ease your mind as you let your kids take this first step to adulthood. Give them some room to grow and help them enjoy a fun, safe night of music.