Party Information For Parents

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When it comes to teens and parties, one of the most important things you can do as a parent is talk to your child. Obviously concerns regarding drugs, alcohol and safety can worry any parent but if you are open about these topics and help your teen have a safety plan, they will be able to have an enjoyable and fun experience while remaining safe.

IF YOUR TEENAGER WANTS TO HOST A PARTY:

  • Be prepared to be involved in the plans for the party – know what’s going on.
  • Limit the number of guests – large gatherings can get out of control.
  • Make sure the party is by invitation only – know the guests.
  • Establish rules for the party – no gatecrashers, alcohol, drugs or smoking.
  • Have definite starting and ending times.
  • Establish rules regarding what rooms are off-limits, what activities the teens can participate in during the party, etc.
  • Make a plan for handling unwanted guests.
  • Discuss acceptable behavior and consequences for unacceptable behavior.
  • Introduce yourself to the guests and their parents when they are being dropped off.
  • Be visible at the party – know what’s going on.

IF YOUR TEENAGER WANTS TO GO TO A PARTY:

  • Know the address and phone number where your teenager is going and know who they will be with.
  • It is perfectly acceptable to contact the parent of the person giving the party to confirm the parent will be present and that no drugs or alcohol will be allowed.
  • If your teen is planning to stay with a friend overnight after the party, contact the friend’s parents to confirm the details.
  • Agree beforehand on expectations for behavior and curfew.
  • Talk to your teen about using the buddy system – buddies stay together and don’t leave one another unattended for any length of time.
  • Tell your teen to never ride with a driver who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Let your teen know that you will come and pick them up if you receive a call telling you they want to come home or need assistance.
  • Stay up to greet your teenager when they get home.
  • Tell your teen to call 911 if there is an emergency or they feel unsafe.

While parents hope that their teens are not attending parties where there are
drugs or alcohol, rather than just naively hoping for the best it is preferable to
have ongoing conversations with teens about your concerns and how to keep
safe.

  • Tell your teen to keep their drink with them AT ALL TIMES. Even if they are drinking water or pop, something could be slipped in their drink unnoticed in just a second or two. Remember that date rape drugs are odorless and tasteless.
  • Talk about date rape drugs – how they render a person disorientated, affect the part of the brain that controls inhibitions, and can cause someone to pass out with no memory of anything that has happened.
  • Have your teen drink from cans and bottles of soda or water – tell them to listen for the snap of the safety seal or the pop of the can as it opens – if they don’t hear a noise, it may have been interfered with – get a fresh one.
  • Even if someone offers to refresh their drink tell your teen to go with them
    and do it themself.