When it comes to raising teenagers, parents spend a lot of time worrying about where their teens are and what they are doing. The majority of teens will go to parties. Many teens feel like they are practically adults and will be able to handle any situation that may occur at a party. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Due to the teen’s inexperience, they may find themselves in situations that could put them in danger. A parent’s duty first and foremost is to protect their child from harm, and this includes the risks your child may face when attending a party.
Before deciding whether your teen can go to a party, the first step a parent can take is to ask questions to obtain all available information. When possible, verify this information with whichever adult will be responsible for the teens at the party.
7 questions a parent should ask their teen about a party are:
1. Will there be any adult supervision and if so, who will it be?
2. How many teens are attending and will there be any older teens or college students at the party?
3. Are there any activities planned and if so, what?
4. What time does the party start and end?
5. If there are drugs or alcohol at the party, what does the adult supervisor plan to do about it?
6. Will the teens at the party be allowed to come and go as they please?
7. What are the rules of the party?
Unfortunately, many teenage parties have no adult supervision. Drugs, alcohol, and sex are often present when an adult is not there, and it is a parent’s responsibility to make sure their teen is safe. If a teen insists on going to a party and the parent is unsure if it will be safe due to a lack of information, it is better for the parent to say, “no” until they learn more about the party specifics rather than take a risk on their teen’s safety and well-being.
If after talking to the parents of the teen who is holding the party you decide the party seems to be on the up-and-up, before you allow your teen to go, you can still talk with them about your expectations. Let your teenager know that there are consequences to their behavior but emphasize that if for any reason they feel unsafe, or drugs or alcohol are present, they need to call you immediately for a ride home. Teenage parties today are a lot different than the ones their parents used to attend. Not only do teens have the common party concerns to worry about, but they also have to contend with dangers such as someone slipping something into their drink. Again, make sure your teen knows to be aware of his or her surroundings and aware that they can count on you in any crisis. Making sure your teen is safe is always the top priority.
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