Teen Parties… they were ok when we were teens, but having a couples of teens now? OMG! Well, the best way to deal with them, in my opinion, is to keep the lines of communication open; tell them what you expect, act and be responsible, and to call – no questions asked, no matter what time – if they need a ride home. Here’s a few guidelines provided by IIABNY for your teen attending or hosting a party.
Guidelines for Parents of A Teen Attending a Party
1. Know where your teen is. Get the name, address and telephone number of the host.
• Have your teen notify you if there is a change of plans.
2. Contact the host’s parents. Get the details on the party.
• Confirm that the party will be drug and alcohol free and that there will be adult supervision.
• Leave your phone number in case of an emergency or if the host’s parents desire help with the party.
3. Reiterate that your teen is not to take a ride from a drinking driver or a casual friend.
• Make yourself or another adult available to pick your teen up it they ask you to. Encourage them to call you if problems arise.
• Tell your teen that it is best to call you if they have problems and that there will not be any punishment for requesting your help.
4. Call the host’s parents the next day to thank them. This promotes desirable communication between parents and is an effective tool for keeping one another aware of neighborhood problems.
Guidelines for Parents of Teens Hosting a Party
1. Have a pre-party plan. Agree on party particulars so that both you and your teen will avoid misunderstandings.
2. A responsible parent must be visible and aware at the party.
• Designate a specific portion of the house for entertaining; this will allow you to properly supervise the festivities.
• Help with the serving of snacks and drinks; this will allow you to meet your teen’s friends.
• Your supervision of the party need not be intrusive or overbearing. Effective supervision can be accomplished through high visibility and low interference.
3. Teens frequently party when their parents are away. Make arrangements for adult supervision if planning a party during your absence.
• Let your teen know what you expect. Agree that no drugs or alcohol will be permitted. Develop a plan for guests who do not follow your house rules.
• Ban access to liquor and/or medications in the home.
• Remember: Serving alcohol or causing alcohol to be served to someone under age 21 is a Class A Misdemeanor in New York, punishable by up to a $1000 fine and/or up to one year in jail. The host may also be subject to civil law suits.
4. Limit attendance and party hours.
• Agree to a guest list. Send out invitations. This helps to control the possibility of party crashers.
• Set hours that allow a teen to be home at a reasonable time.
• Communicate with guests’ parents when possible. Advise them of the party and what you expect of your teen.
• Control access to the party. Coming and going will often allow problem guests to use drugs and alcohol and then return intoxicated.
• Notify the police before hosting a large gathering. Do not hesitate to call police if a large party becomes uncontrollable.
• Advise neighbors of large parties and leave them your telephone number. This will allow you to manage problems before they call police to handle them.
Finally, send your teen a text (because that’s the way they communicate best) with something along the lines of “be smart, try not to overdo it, and I love you, kid”. A little ‘mom guilt’ thrown in there sometimes goes a long way.
Patty T. – part of Your Blog Team