If your teen is giving a party:
- Help your teenager plan the party – make a guest list and invite only a specific number of people.
- Have your child pass out or send invitations and try to avoid the “open party” situation.
- Don’t send e-mail invitations. They can be forwarded to a large number of people quickly and you may lose control of who has this information.
- Put your phone number on the invitation and welcome calls from parents.
- Set rules ahead of time like no alcohol, drugs or tobacco. Set a start and end time for the party.
- Let attendees know that if they leave, they can’t come back.
- Have plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Plan some activities such as music, games, movies, etc.
- Let your neighbors know in advance there will be a party and that you will be there to supervise. Familiarize yourself with the noise ordinance in your area.
- Limit the party access to a certain area of the house/property.
- Have a plan for dealing with vehicles. Include parking information in your party invitation.
- Call parents of any teen who arrives in possession of alcohol or under the influence. If you can’t get in touch with the parents, keep them there or call the police if necessary. You can be civilly liable if you know they are intoxicated and you let them leave.
- Secure all forms of alcohol, firearms, and other potentially hazardous items in your home in a safe place.
- Make regular and unobtrusive visits to the party area with sensitivity to teens’ needs for privacy and independence.
- Invite some other parents to help chaperone if there will be a large number of teenagers.
- When you’re away from home or out of town:
- Set and communicate rules and standards to be followed in your absence.
- Do not allow underage youth to have unsupervised parties or gatherings.
- Remind them of their responsibilities and the consequences of their actions.
- Have a relative or responsible adult stay at your home during your absence, have your teenager stay with a responsible adult or ask a neighbor to watch the house and stop in while you are gone.
- If you are concerned that your child might have a party anyway, you can call your local police and ask them to drive by at some point over the time you are gone. Make it a point to tell your child that you have asked the police to do this.
If your teen is attending a party:
- Know where your child will be. Call the parent in charge to verify the occasion and location of the party to ensure there will be adult supervision.
- Ask how many teens are expected at the party and offer to help supervise or provide refreshments.
- Make certain that the host will not be serving or allowing alcohol. Ask how they plan to handle the situation if a teen shows up with alcohol or having drunk somewhere else.
- Indicate your expectations to your child and the parent hosting the party that if the teens plan to leave and go somewhere else, you will want to know.
- Set a curfew for your teen to be home and when they arrive home, have them check in with you.
- Know how your child is getting to and from the party. Reinforce the message to your teenager that they should never allow someone who has been drinking or using other drugs to drive them anywhere.
- Assure your child that they can telephone you to be picked up whenever needed.
- If the activity seems inappropriate, express concern and keep your child home.
- Get to know your children’s friends and their parents.
- Find out their policy on alcohol, drugs and tobacco use.
- Remember, it is illegal to serve minors!
- Encourage alcohol-free and drug-free parties and activities for underage youth.
Brought to you by the “Capital Region Parents Who Host Lose the Most Coalition”
Campaign developed by Ohio Parents for Drug Free Youth
Capital Region Sponsors: Channel 10, Albany Broadcasting, and Stewarts Shops