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Teenage Party Guidelines

Important information for parents to consider:

 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, teens whose parents talk to them regularly about the dangers of drug and alcohol use are 42% less likely to use these substances than those whose parent do not; and teens are more likely to have sex, be involved in a violent incident, or suffer injury if using drugs or alcohol.

  • Honest frequent communications staring at an early age is important in keeping your teen safe.
  • Be very clear with your teen that you expect them NOT to consume alcohol or other drugs.
  • Get to know your teen’s friends and their parents.  Parent networking has been shown to be a deterrent to underage drinking.
  • Know your responsibilities.  PARENTS ARE LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO A MINOR WHO HAS BEEN SERVED ALCOHOL OR OTHER DRUGS IN THEIR HOME.

 

Help your teen to share this feeling of responsibility.

 

Parents may be Criminally or Civilly liable if…

 

  • alcohol is provide at a party in their home
  • property is damaged
  • someone is injured, or dies
  • someone gets into a car accident and/or injures someone else

 

PARENTS NEED TO BE KNOWLEDGEABLE ON STATE LAWS RELATED TO ALCOHOL AND DRUG USE IN MINORS

 

When your teen is GIVING a Party

 

  • Word of the party can spread almost instantaneously nowadays thanks to cell phoned and the multiple ways that kids can communicate via the Internet/social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter…
  • Often parties can grow too large for the teen and parent to control.
  • It’s a good idea to determine a GUEST LIST ahead of time with the expectation that no “crashers” are allowed.  This will help avoid the ‘open party’ situation.
  • Set and agree to the ground rules and consequences ahead of time.  Let your teen know what you expect of him/her as a host, and what you expect from their guests.
  • Set boundaries for inside and outside spaces (specify any off limit areas) and remember the importance of adequate lighting.
  • Set a starting and ending time for the party, being mindful of local curfew times.  Provide adequate time for guest to get home safely before curfew.
  • Provide active supervision of all areas where teens are gathering.  Be visible and available.  Serving snacks/beverages is a good way to interact with the guests.  Do not consume alcohol in your home when your teen is hosting a party, you may have to drive one of the guests home in an emergency.
  • Consider inviting additional adults for responsible supervision of large groups.
  • No alcohol, tobacco or other drugs permitted.
  • No one should be allowed to leave the party and then return.
  • No uninvited guests.
  • Have plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages available.
  • Lock up any alcohol, as well as any prescription or over the counter medicines.
  • Upon arrival, have your teen introduce all the guests to you and all the parent chaperones.  Be aware of guests arriving with paper bags, sports bags, backpacks, oversized coats, large "cargo" pants and large purses.  Have them put all belongings in a locked location secure and away from the party.  If you suspect something, check it out immediately.  Contact a parent if a guest appears intoxicated or brings alcohol to the party.  Make sure they get home safely.  Be willing to call the police if necessary.

 

When your teen is GOING TO a Party

  • Call the Host Parent to verify the party and offer assistance. Make sure a parent/guardian will be present and actively supervising the entire party, and that no alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs will be permitted. Discuss your expectations for your teen’s behavior and that you wish to be contacted if your teen does not honor these expectations.
  • Know where your child is going and with whom. Have the phone number and address of the party host, and ask your teen to call you if the location of the party changes.
  • Have your teen develop a plan on getting to and from the party.  Be sure your teen knows where you will be during the party and who to call for a ride (neighbor, relative, or friend…) if you are not available.  Insist your child NEVER ride with a driver who has been drinking.
  • Role play with your teen how to handle uncomfortable situations.  For example, what to do if alcohol or other drugs are offered.  Help our teen develop a comfortable way to say NO to drugs (i.e. No thank you… It makes me sick… I can’t because I play sports… I was just about to leave.  Emphasize the safest beverage is the one you get yourself, and keep in your possession.
  • Develop a family code that will allow your teen to communicate to you they want to be picked up NOW, no questions asked.
  • Be up to greet your teen, or have them awaken you, when s/he comes home from a party; this provides a great opportunity for conversation and lets your teen know you care about his/her social life.
  • Evaluate Teen overnights carefully.  Confirm details of sleep-overs with the friend’s parent and that they will be home.  Do not condone co-ed sleep-overs as it sends the wrong message.
  • LIVE WHAT YOU PREACH.  LEAD BY EXAMPLE.  DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.  Plan ahead for transportation if YOU plan to drink.  Remember, perceived hypocritical behavior will derail the positive influence you have with your teen.

 

 

 

Published by Parent Network of Catholic High Schools................................................... www.parentnetworkstl.org