It’s the season of the year when parental gray hairs increase as parents worry about their teen-aged children’s party activities. From graduation celebrations to the beginning of the summer pool party season, as the school year winds down the teen party scene gets more lively.
While it’s natural for parents to worry about their teenagers’ activities, especially when off partying, setting some simple rules and guidelines can reduce both teen and parental stress.One basic rule should be that you are given the name, address, phone number and parent names for any party your teen will be attending. If you don’t know the family, call the parents to make sure an adult will be present and no drugs or alcohol will be available. Make your call an offer to help and you can get your questions answered through a casual conversation without embarrassing your teen.
You also want to clarify driving arrangements and restrictions. Riding with someone who’s been drinking or taking drugs is always forbidden. In such cases your teens should know they can call you at any time for a ride, or that you’ll cover cab fare home, and that there will be no repercussions or blame.
You want your teenager to understand that he or she is really only responsible for himself or herself. Let your teen understand that there won’t be punishment just because others at a party get out of control and make trouble.
Your teens should also agree to contact you should a party’s location be changed. Suggest excuses they can use to call (“I forgot my key”) to help them keep from being embarrassed by checking in, but they need to let you know when there’s a change.
If your teen wants to sleep over at a friend’s, make it clear that you will want to call the parents to confirm they’ll be home and that it has their blessing.
At other times, be there when your teen arrives home and make sure all is well.
Setting such rules and guidelines works best when you and your teenage child sit down and work them out together. Get your teen’s input and offer suggestions on how to handle situations responsibly. You and your teen should agree on penalties when rules are broken.
With a little preparation, the teen party season can be an enjoyable one for your teen, and a less worrisome one for you.
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