The period from Halloween to the New Year is peak party time. As adults, you are probably invited to several functions through work, family and friends.
This is also peak party time for teens.

What Happens at Teenage House Parties

A Parent’s Guide for Teen Holiday Parties

Should you automatically refuse to allow your teen to go to a friend’s house for a party? This is even assuming you realize there is a party going on. It is just as likely the visit will be explained as a sleep over, or hanging out. It is important to realize that even a trustworthy kid can get in over his head.

Teenage drinking parties with alcohol are unfortunately the norm. Even if the host doesn’t plan it to be that way, all it takes is one or two ambitious guests to change the dynamics of the party. Once that happens, even the most rule-abiding teens are hesitant to break rank and do anything that could be perceived as ratting out one of their friends.
So if you know there is a party involved, and know that there is likely to be alcohol, how do you respond?

  • Be upfront: Let them know you anticipate alcohol at the party. It is easier if you broach the subject first.
  • Explain the negative aspects of drinking: You don’t know if you are predisposed to addiction. If you over-imbibe, it will affect your judgment, which can lead to other long-term consequences.
  • Ask how they feel about alcohol and drinking: It can be hard to get an honest answer, but by approaching the subject calmly you encourage conversation.
  • Explain that there is little to be gained at teenage drinking parties: For all the fun they are afraid they will miss, they are just as likely to end up involved in drama or embarrassing themselves, and that is if everything goes well.

How To Stop Teenage Drinking Parties

How To Stop Teenage Drinking Parties

 

You don’t want your teen heading out for a night of drinking, and reducing the culture of drinking in the community will make your job a lot easier. Reducing teen drug use and alcohol use is a job every parent should be interested in.

  • Find alternatives: Instead of expecting your teens to provide their own entertainment during the holiday season, help them find activities. Haunted trails, light shows or just opening your own home up to watch football can dramatically decrease the desire for teens to find their own fun.
  • Make everyone feel welcome: Include everyone your teen wants, even the friends you find annoying. Encourage him to let them bring friends as well. Work hard to change the culture of your town.
  • Keep the lines of communication open: They may not feel comfortable being open with you initially, but it is important to continue working to improve communication. It is important to listen with an open mind. While you should feel comfortable giving your opinion about things, don’t give your opinion as the final say. Whether its a broad subject, such as drug use in general, or something specific, maybe a friend your child is worried about, find out how your child feels about the situation. Back and forth dialog is much more productive than a blanket statement that all drinking and drugs are wrong.

Do You Have Anything to Worry About?

Teenage Parties and how to talk with your kids

It’s often hard to tell if your child is actually listening to anything you say. You may feel that you have a great, open relationship, only to find out that he has a secret world you know nothing about.

It’s not healthy or reasonable to follow your teen everywhere or to forbid him from socializing with his peers, so how do you know if he is listening to you?

  • Does something seem off about his explanation about his plans? If he seems overly evasive or, on the other hand, overly eager to describe in detail exactly what his plans are, you may not be getting the truth.
  • If plans change while he’s out, it may indicate he is drinking. If he texts and asks to spend the night with a friend, it may be a cover to avoid coming home intoxicated.
  • Behavior changes of any type may indicate something is going on. This is one of the reasons it is important to know your teen well and have an established relationship. You will notice subtle changes in behavior, and will have a strong enough foundation to discuss your concerns with him.

Parenting teens is a tough and stressful job, but watching your children grow into healthy adults is one of the most rewarding experiences there is. Taking an active role in developing a strong relationship with your teen can help ease you both through many of the challenges of these years.