7 Things to Do Before You Let Your Teen Go to a Party

Teens going to a party
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Certainly not all teenage parties are created equal. While some teens may consider board games with a group of friends to be a wild bash, other high school parties involve hardcore drugs. And unfortunately, there are plenty of parents out there willing to supply underage kids with alcohol.

So before you agree to let your teen go to party, it’s important to take learn more about the party scene. A few precautionary measures can help you make a decision about whether the party sounds like a good place for your teen.

It’s also important to prepare your teen for various scenarios that may occur at a party.

1. Speak to the Parents

Calling the host’s parents may be mortifying to your teen, but it’s essential to talk to them beforehand. Call to make an offer, such as, “Can I send any snacks?” and then strike up a conversation about the party details. Many parents mistakenly believe that underage drinking is fine, as long as it’s supervised. But there can be serious consequences for allowing kids to drink. 

Find out what the parents’ stance on drugs and alcohol are to make sure that they won’t be allowed at the party. Also, make sure they plan to be home throughout the duration of the party. If you aren’t satisfied with the answers you receive, don’t allow your teen to attend the party.

2. Set a Clear Curfew and Know the Plan for Transportation

Establish a reasonable curfew time and make it clear what time you expect your teen to be home.

Also, discuss the plans for transportation. It’s best if you, or another trusted parent, can safely transport your teen home. Make sure your teen understands that it’s never OK to drive while under the influence nor is it okay to accept a ride from someone who is impaired.

3. Tell Your Teen Not to Leave the Party

A lot of problems occur when teens leave a party.

Often, they go to a separate location to drink or use drugs before returning to the party. Make it clear that your teen is not to leave the party, except in the case of an emergency. Tell your teen to contact you immediately about any changes in plans.

4. Have a Plan for What to Do if Things Go Wrong

Talk to your teen about what to do if something goes wrong at the party. If other teens start drinking, or the party gets out of control, tell your teen to call for a ride home. Stress the importance of making healthy choices – even if other people aren’t. Make sure your teen has enough confidence to be able to stand up for what’s right, rather than going along with the crowd.

5. Explain the Consequences Ahead of Time

Talk about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and make your stance on substance abuse known. Explain the consequences for breaking the rules, whether it’s disregard for curfew or leaving the party without permission. Take away privileges, ground your teen, or assign extra responsibilities based on the severity of the infraction.

6. Stay Up to Greet Your Teen After the Party

If your teen is old enough to drive home from the party, or you’ve secured some other form of safe transportation, stay up until your teen arrives home. Tell your teen ahead of time that you’ll be waiting up. It’ll decrease the chances your teen will try to sneak in late or come home impaired.

7. Tell Your Teen You're Going to Talk About it Afterward

It’s a good idea to chat with your teen about the party at some point. That doesn’t mean you need to pry or know all the details, but it is important to get a general idea about how the party went. Discuss who attended and what activities they did for fun.

Does your teen want to host a party? If so, check out these 9 Safety Tips for Hosting a Teenage Party.

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