Tips for Safe and Sober Teen Parties
Following is some useful advice for parents trying to ensure that parties stay safe, sober and under control. Our thanks to Jesuit High School for allowing us to post this information.
1. Watch the numbers - Be sure that you and at least one other non-substance (including alcohol) using adult can manage the number of kids attending the party. A 1:8 ratio is considered a safe ratio for the hosting of a party.
2. Provide activities - If kids are bored, they will look for something “exciting” to do.
3. Park the bags at the door - You probably do not want to do a bag check, but water bottles, sports bottles, and any drink containers brought in from outside the house are popular hiding places for alcohol and even weapons.
4. Watch out for groups in the bathroom - The bathroom is a popular spot for sneaking alcohol so others (adult chaperones) do not see.
5. Know your guests’ first and last names - Have the phone numbers of the parents of all of the kids at the party. Do not allow unknown individuals into your house or onto your property.
6. Transportation arrangements - Know how the kids got to the party and with whom they will be going home.
7. Monitor the party - Do not think that because they are in your house, everything will be O.K. Check on the kids regularly. Many kids will hate it, but they know you will be watching. Some of the kids will actually appreciate it.
8. Stay awake - You agreed to host the party, so you have to be awake and alert from start to finish. Many problems occur when mom and dad have gone upstairs to sleep, “confident” that everything is O.K. downstairs.
9. Monitor your front yard and backyard - Many party crashers come in through a side gate or over the fence. Also, kids often bring alcohol in through a back door or a side door.
10. Make clear rules - Before the event, set clear consequences for your child and the guests if alcohol or drug use is discovered at the party. Remind the kids not only about your rules, but also about their obligations as students.
11. Just say “No” - Sometimes, enough is enough, and you have to bring the party to a close. If you think activities are getting out-of-hand, do not hesitate to call 911 and request police assistance. There are times when, no matter how well prepared you are, things move beyond your control.
Key questions to ask when your child attends a party
If your child is planning on attending a party and you do not know the host family call to introduce yourself and to ask questions. Share with the hosting parent that you just want to ask questions about the party to help prevent your child from being in a tough spot. Most, if not all, parents can identify with your concern for the welfare of your child and the other young people at the party.
1. How many people will be at the party? Are they all the same age? From the same school? Do you have any older children who will be home during the party?
2. Are there specific activities planned (if so, what are they?) or will the kids just be hanging out?
3. Will there be sober, adults mingling with the kids and participating in some ways in the event?
4. What are the house rules regarding alcohol and drugs? Will you be searching bags or having some sort of “bag check?” What is your plan if someone brings (or sneaks) alcohol or drugs or weapons into your home?
5. Do you have a plan for dealing with “party crashers?”
6. Is there a cell phone number at which you can be contacted at any time?
7. Offer to help set-up, provide food, or help supervise. The hosting parent may need an extra hand.
We hope you find these suggestions helpful. Let’s work together to ensure that all students are safe and happy.