Thursday, July 10, 2008

Safe Summer Parties

It doesn’t get much better than summertime in Maine. But with summer comes many more opportunities for teens to enjoy their free time by planning parties with their friends. So if you’re an adult hosting a party for your teen, or if your teen is planning a party for themselves, make it a great party by:

Planning for everything…

  • Decide on a guest list. Give your teen a maximum number to invite and set an age limit for guests.
  • Send invitations! Have your teen inform his/her guest that the party is by invitation only.
  • Set a party time, inclusive of a start and end time.

Contacting parents ahead of time…

  • Inform parents/guardians about the party and explain your expectations of partygoers. No Alcohol!
  • Have parents or responsible adults drop-off and pickup teens. If teens drive to the party, plan to hold all keys to eliminate the temptation of leaving and returning to the party.

Keeping a watchful eye…

  • Stay at the party. Your presence is important. Walk through the party area frequently. Have additional adult supervision onsite during the party.
  • If you suspect a teen guest is intoxicated, contact his or her parents/guardians immediately.

Establishing rules ahead of time…

  • No drugs, alcohol or smoking.
  • Party area should have ample lighting for the time of the day; keep lights on throughout the party.
  • Make some rooms in your home off-limits to guests; insist on partygoers staying in designated party areas.
  • Avoid serving punch or soft drinks in cups. Serve a variety of drinks in cans or bottles.
  • Do not allow teens to bring outside drinks, cups or open bottles into the party.
  • Guests should not leave the house and return without permission and adult supervision.
  • Avoid combining adult and youth parties. Remember: adults are role models. Teens will get the message that alcohol is not the “life of a party” when no alcohol is present at the party.

(Visit the Parental Guide to Hosting Responsible Teen Parties-Virginia Department of ABC Education Section for more ideas:

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