Parties can be a significant part of every teenager’s development. However, an enjoyable evening with friends and family doesn’t need to involve alcohol or drugs. Merriam Insurance hopes that these party guidelines will assist parents and teens in the planning of a drug-free, sober, and safe party.
Guidelines for Parents of a Teen Attending a Party
- Know where your teen is going to be, and get the name, address and telephone number of the host. Ask your teen to notify you immediately if there is a change of plans.
- Contact the host’s parent or guardian and get the details on the party.
- Confirm that the party will be drug and alcohol free and that there will be responsible adult supervision.
- Leave your phone number in case of emergency or if the host’s parents desire assistance with the party.
- Reiterate that your teen is not to accept a ride from a driver who has been drinking or a casual friend.
- Make yourself or another adult available to pick your teen up it they ask you to. Encourage them to call you if problems arise.
- Tell your teen that it is best to call you if they have problems and that there will not be any punishment for requesting your help.
- Call the host’s parents the next day to thank them. This promotes desirable communication between parents and is an effective tool for keeping one another aware of neighborhood problems.
Guidelines for Parents of Teens Hosting a Party
- Have a pre-party plan. Agree on the party specifics so that both you and your teen will avoid misunderstandings.
- A responsible parent must be visible and aware during the party.
- Designate a specific portion of the house for entertaining; this will allow you to properly supervise the festivities.
- Help with the serving of snacks and drinks; this will allow you to meet your teen’s friends.
- Your supervision of the party need not be intrusive or overbearing. Effective supervision can be accomplished through high visibility and low interference.
- Teens frequently party when their parents are away. Make the necessary arrangements for adult supervision if planning a party during your absence.
- Let your teen know about your expectations. Agree that no drugs or alcohol will be permitted and develop a plan for guests who do not follow your house rules.
- Ban access to any liquor and/or medications in the home.
- Remember: Serving alcohol or causing alcohol to be served to someone under age 21 is a Class A Misdemeanor in New York State, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine, and/or up to one year in jail. The host may also be subject to civil lawsuits.
- Limit attendance and party hours.
- Agree to a guest list and send out invitations. This helps to control the possibility of party crashers.
- Set hours that allow a teen to be home at a reasonable time.
- Communicate with guests’ parents whenever possible. Advise them of the party and what you expect of your teen.
- Control access to the party. Coming and going will often allow problem guests to use drugs and alcohol and then return intoxicated.
- Notify the police before hosting a large gathering. Do not hesitate to call police if a large party becomes uncontrollable.
- Advise neighbors of large parties and leave them your telephone number. This will allow you to manage problems before they call the police to handle them.
Parties that are free from drugs and alcohol can provide a safe environment for your children to socialize and form meaningful friendships. In addition to following these simple steps, Merriam Insurance recommends that you also consult your independent insurance agent to be sure you are protected should the unthinkable occur.
Source: Trusted Choice