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  • Bradley Hospital Parenting Guide: Teens and Parties

  • Your Responsibilities as the Parent of a Guest or the Host

  • Bradley Hospital Parenting Guide:
    Teens and Parties 

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    Sometimesjust a little help can prevent short-term problems from becoming more serious.

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    • Call the host.
      Before giving your teenager permission to attend a party, make sure you, your teen and the host's parents understand the rules. For example, do you all agree that no alcohol will be allowed and that there will be parental supervision?
    • Check the party plans beforehand.
      Know where your child is going and with whom. When taking your teenager to a party, wait to see that he or she is inside the house. If you don't know the host parents, introduce yourself.
    • Make it easy for your teenager to leave a party.
      Make sure you and your teenager have an arrangement that allows him or her to depend on you for transportation if there's drinking or drugs at the party. Urge your teenager never to accept a ride with a driver who has been drinking. You might want to have an agreement on having no punishments or restrictions for a call that lets you know if things are getting out of hand.
    • Stay up to greet your teenager when he or she comes home.
      You'll feel better if you know your child is home safely and you'll be showing you care if you wait up for your teenager. Tell your child you are waiting up out of concern, not because you don't trust him or her to get home on time or because you are suspicious.

    Your Responsibilities as the Parent of the Host

    • Plan in advance.
      Check party plans with your teenager and know who's on the guest list to curb the "open party" situation. It is not unusual for strangers to show up if you haven't made your rules clear.
    • Set a time limit.
      Set a definite start and end time-not too long. Consider daytime parties as an alternative to evening ones, or plan a seasonal activity such as swimming or skating to give some positive focus to the party.
    • Agree to rules ahead of time.
      Rules might include no drugs, alcohol and smoking; no leaving and then returning to the party; no gate-crashers; lights be left on; some rooms in your house off-limits.
    • Understand your role as a parent.
      The responsible adult at a teenager's party is visible and aware. Remember that it is illegal to serve alcohol to minors. You are legally responsible for anything that may happen to a minor who has taken drugs or alcohol in your home.
    • Invite another parent or couple.
      Other adults are company for you during a long evening and can be of help if there are problems. Also, if parents have driven teenagers to your house, you might consider inviting them in to meet you, however briefly.

    Increasing your chances of a successful party