Parents Guide to Safe and Responsible Teenager Parties
My three daughters have all attended The Lovett School in Atlanta Georgia. Every fall the school sends out information to parents that gives excellent guidelines and advice about parties for teenagers.
Unfortunately, every year there seems to be a set of parents who are oblivious to what is happening in the world of teenagers. They leave town for a weekend and the teenagers are left unchaperoned or have access to a house with no adult supervision.
The parents are fully convinced little Bobby or Caroline would never consider having their friends come over and have a party. I guess they never saw the movie Risky Business. Or maybe they are brain damaged. When the word hits the teenager population that some body’s parents are out of town, the news travels like wildfire. The poor kid who only intended to have a handful of friends come over ends up with half the teenage population of Atlanta in his driveway and home. There are people he doesn’t know knocking on the door. Sketchy people who have no concern about behaving the way Bobby told his parents he would behave while they are gone.
Eventually the police arrive.
The parents return home to property damage, police citations and possible criminal lawsuits because of drinking by underage minors.
If you are a parent of teenagers, please read the info below and put it in to practice.
Party Guidelines Aim to Encourage Safe and Responsible Environment for Students
Parties hosted by students when the parents are out of town are especially dangerous as alcohol seems always to be present in large quantities and risks are much higher. These are the suggestions that the Parents Group made:
1. The most basic advice is simply not to leave your children alone regardless of age when you will be out overnight. Even if the child does not intend to have a party, when students find out a home is “parentless,” it is often beyond a child’s ability to control how other students behave and what they bring into your house.
2. If you go out of town and your child is staying with friends, let your neighbors know you are out of town and that no one should be home. Ask your neighbors to intervene if your child shows up at home. Let your child know you are doing this.
3. As we stated above, if you find your child has been to an unsupervised party, please call the parents of the child hosting the party so they are aware of what went on. Also, let them know you are concerned and don’t think it is appropriate.
For us to get this situation under control, it is important that all parents treat this as the serious problem that it is. If we do not take these suggestions seriously, we risk more alcohol-related parties, alcohol-related accidents, and possibly alcohol-related injuries and deaths. Please do not let this happen.
Parent Sponsored Parties:
After much discussion, we felt it would be worthwhile to share suggestions as to things parents can do to keep parties from getting out of hand.
1. When planning a party, have a written guest list and give those invited a written invitation showing when, where, etc. with phone numbers. Parents of invited children should ask their child to give them all the details about the party. Do not publicize the party to those not invited.
2. Limit the size of the party to one which, as a parent, you can reasonably supervise.
3. Be aware that many older students think they can come to a party whether they are invited or not. Be prepared to ask uninvited guests to leave.
4. Plan on inviting other adults over to help provide supervision.
5. Of course, it is illegal to serve alcohol to minors, and we also recommend that adults not have alcohol during a student party. It is not appropriate and does not create the right environment for adults to be drinking while they are overseeing a child’s party.
6. Make sure you are visible throughout the party and don’t just retreat to another part of the house. Students need to see adult supervision on the scene.
7. Do not allow students to bring any beverages into parties. Many Sprite bottles disguise alcoholic beverages. Be willing to inspect backpacks. You should acknowledge guests as they arrive to make sure things look right. Be suspicious of students loitering in the yard. Your child should know that you will not tolerate improper behavior, and that you will end the party and inform parents if there is a problem with any student.
8. When your child has been invited to a party, call the hosting parents to make sure that they are at home and that you understand their ground rules and what type of party it is. Know the transportation arrangements for your child.
9. Make it easy for your teenager to leave a party. If there is inappropriate behavior and any reason that your child wishes to leave a party, make an arrangement that your child can call you (or another designated adult) and you will come. Urge your child not to ride home with a driver who has been drinking or using drugs. You might have an understanding that consequences would be modified for a call letting you know that things are getting out of hand.
10. We believe co-ed overnight parties are inappropriate.
11. Parties should not last beyond:
9th and 10th grade – 11:00 p.m.
11th and 12th grade – 12:00 a.m.
Despite advanced planning, if problems arise, be willing to stop the party and call parents to pick up their children.
12. Be awake to greet your child when he or she arrives home after a party.
13. Should you discover your child has been to a party that was out of control or where alcohol was served or present, you should call the host parents to express your concern and disapproval. There may be a few parents that do not understand the seriousness of alcohol at these parties. Parental peer pressure may help end these functions even if some parents think they are all right.
We urge you to share these recommendations/suggestions with your child and remind them of their responsibilities and your expectations of them. Lovett Lines, 1998