Mall Rat: Is Your Teen One?


Friday night. "Hey mom, me and the girls are going to hang at the mall for a couple of hours." Sound familiar?

If it does, you wouldn't be the only mother of a tween or teen whose child spends an inordinate amount of time with friends at a shopping center. But teen mall congregation isn't exactly adored by retailers, like you might think. That's because bands of teens don't necessarily mean big shoppers, but instead sometimes violence and disorderly conduct.


Just last summer, there was a movement to have "parental escort policies" instituted at many malls across the country, precisely because mall management was inundated with large groups of teens. We're not babysitters, they essentially said. But the trend to mandate adult supervision doesn't seem to have caught on as was projected. A good thing?

Is your teen a mall-rat? Do you feel safer with her/him at the mall than at other hang out spots?

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