Parents Guide to Teen Parties
PARENTS GUIDE TO TEEN PARTIES
There are many pressures drawing youth to the use of alcohol, tobacco and other harmful drugs. The strongest pressures on young adults are social/societal, including advertising and media, along with the need for group acceptance.
Many parents and teenagers talk about appropriate guidelines in this area, yet continue to feel helpless. Some parents, wanting their teenagers to belong to the group, serve alcohol at parties to their teens and friends. When parents work together, the pressure to serve or allow the use of illegal beverages, tobacco and other drugs will be significantly reduced.
Don’t fall prey to the teen tactic, “But all the other parents let their kids do it.” Review the following guidelines and discuss them with your family and friends. Communicate what standards you expect to be followed. Support one another within families and from family to family.
When Your Teen Is Attending A Party
- Know where your teenager will be and agree beforehand on a curfew. Obtain an address and phone number. Mutually agree that he/she will call you if the location is changed.
- Personally contact the parents of the party giver to be certain that alcohol, tobacco and other drugs will not be permitted.
- Offer assistance and support
- Verify the occasion, make sure the parents will be present.
- If your teenager attends a party where alcohol, tobacco and other drugs are served by the parents or allowed, it is important to phone and discuss your disapproval with the parents. Discuss the legal ramifications with them; share notes with other parents; express thanks and support to parents and students within these guidelines.
- Know how your teenager will get to and from the party. Arrange that you, a specified friend or neighbor can be called if he or she needs a ride home. Discuss the possible situations that might necessitate this.
- Reinforce that under no circumstances should your teenager allow someone who has been drinking or using other drugs to drive him/her anywhere.
- Personally check with the parents if your child stays overnight with a friend after the party.
When Your Teen Is Giving A Party
- Plan in advance and agree to the rules ahead of time. Check party plans with your teenager and know who the guests will be. If you agree on who is to be invited, you can curb the “open party” situation.
- Set definite limits. The rules should include: No drugs, including alcohol or tobacco; No leaving the party and returning; No gate crashers; Some rooms in your home are off limits.
- Know your responsibilities & welcome calls from other parents to discuss party arrangements. The responsible adult at a teenager’s party must be visible and aware.
- Remember it is illegal to serve or provide drugs, including beer, wine, wine coolers, to anyone under 21 years of age. You may be liable both to criminal charges and for monetary damages in a civil lawsuit if you furnish alcohol and other drugs to a minor.
- Anyone who leaves the party should not be allowed to return. This discourages people from leaving with the intent of drinking or using drugs in their cars or elsewhere and then returning to the party.
- Notify the neighbors & police beforehand when giving a large party. Let them know that the party will be supervised. Discuss an agreeable parking plan. Let police know whom to contact in case of complaints.
- Plan to have food and plenty of nonalcoholic drinks & Plan activities such as movies, dancing, sports, etc.
- Discuss the party afterwards with your teenager and share your observations and possible frustrations.
When You Are Out Of Town
- Inform your teenager of their responsibilities and the consequences of their actions.
- Have a responsible adult live in your home during your absence or have your teenager stay with a responsible adult. Explain to them your family policy and rules for parties.
- Inform your neighbors of your absence & let the parents of your child’s friends know of your absence. Request they contact you or a responsible adult, or even the police, if a party occurs. Cooperation is both essential and productive.
- If a party is held, find out who attended and contact their parents as soon as possible.