Teen parties can be safe and fun if planned and thought out carefully. And don’t forget, there are legal ramifications for you as a parent and your teen if you sanction a party where alcohol or other drugs are present. (See Legal Ramifications)
Parties at Your Home
Following are suggestions for when your teen gives a party:
- Have your teen draw up a list of people invited. Remember that large parties can easily get out of hand.
- Consider the place. A large outdoor party might be difficult to control.
- Help your teen decide how to issue invitations. They should state the party is not an "open house."
- Talk about food, beverages, and activities. Lock up any liquor or valuable items.
- Work out a plan for "gate crashers." Greet teens as they arrive.
- Specify no alcohol or other drugs. Have guests check "backpacks" at the door.
- Tell your teen ahead of time that parents will be called if anyone is caught with illegal substances, including alcohol. Never let them drive - you could be liable if an accident occurs.
- Settle on the ending time of the party beforehand.
Parties Away From Home
Following are suggestions for attending:
- When your teen gets invited to other parties ask: where the party is, including the address; how your teen is getting there and back; who will be there; what they will be doing; and the hours of the party.
- Call the parents to make sure they will be home - even though your teen won’t want you to.
- Stress to your teen that if plans change, they need to let you know. Give them a phone number where you can be reached.
- Rehearse what your teen should do if he/she wants to leave. Encourage him/her to call you for a ride if needed.
- Remind your teen never to ride with anyone who has been drinking alcohol or using drugs.
- Stay up until your teen comes home or tell them to wake you when they arrive.
- Be suspicious if your teen frequently sleeps elsewhere after a party.
Parents need to plan carefully if concerned about what will happen when they are away from home. Reconsider your plans if there is potential for a party. Ask a close relative or neighbor to keep an eye on things. Have your teen stay with another trusted family while you are gone.
Gengler, C. (2007). Teen Talk Fact Sheet: There’s a Party, Can I Go?St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension.