Teens enjoy gathering together spending time “hanging out” with friends. These get togethers become excellent opportunities to teach them how to host parties as they mature into adults. Unfortunately, teen parties can become unsafe when illegal drug use happens, over indulging in alcohol and other inappropriate behavior occurs. Too often these types of parties end in needless violence. In light of the recent tragedy for a University of Calgary student and his family, parents should sit down with their teens and discuss a safety plan for future parties.
- If parents aren’t home, then leave immediately. Some adult(s) needs to be present and keeping a watchful eye on the party.
- Stay in designated areas. Don’t open closed doors and refrain from entering other rooms with party goers Treat your friend’s home better than your own, for example keep feet off of the furniture.
- Don’t drink alcohol if you’re underage. Even if the parents are mixing drinks at the party, it’s illegal for you to drink alcohol and for them to serve alcohol to an underage guest in their home. Young women should keep an eye on their drink and never leave it unattended. Consider taking it with you even when going to the bathroom. Drugs have been slipped into drinks and the result has been disastrous.
- Don’t advertise the house party on FB or any other social media. This is a calling card to “party crashers”. If you have received a text message about a party that you haven’t been invited to, don’t go. You’ll be guilty of trespassing and often “party crashers” create problems that can lead to aggression. Police have strongly suggested phoning them to get rid of these uninvited individuals. Don’t try to remove them yourself.
- If feeling uneasy for any reason, phone/text your parents advising them that you want to leave right away. Listen to your “gut”.
Discuss these strategies with your teens helping them to develop good judgement. You want your teens to enjoy themselves yet be safe and use their heads wisely.
Maria Doll, certified Etiquette Trainer for Children and Teens