Kaipātiki Parent Pack
It is not always easy deciding what to do about alcohol at a teenage party. If your child wants to hold a party then the simplest and safest way is to say ‘no alcohol’. Supplying alcohol doesn’t make for a better party.
It doesn’t take very much alcohol to fuel a problem and young people socialise well and have fun without it.
Some things to discuss and plan for beforehand
- Who is coming and how many
- What time will the party finish
- How will they get home
- Will any be staying over
- What food will be provided
- How will gatecrashers be handled
- What is your decision about supplying alcohol
- How will you deal with alcohol brought by guests.
“If you choose to provide alcohol, set the limits. Aim for lower strength alcohol, provide plenty of substantial food and non-alcohol drinks and closely supervise the party. Remember, you would be taking responsibility for supplying alcohol to other people’s children as well as your own. Their parents may not be aware of that or approve.”
Handy Hints for successful parties
- Limit the invitations to as small and closely associated group as possible. Word gets around quickly and by limiting the function to close friends you are more likely to know who’s coming. Make a list and send out printed invitations so people know it is strictly ‘invitation only’
- Never go out and leave them to party alone. Visible but non-intrusive adult supervision is critical – drop in occasionally with snacks. Have the guests come through the area that you are in to get to the party so you know who is there and you see what they are bringing in
- Invite other parents over – they could help you serve food and will be able to assist with security if necessary
- It is a good idea to let the police know in advance in case anything goes wrong
- Let the neighbours know or invite them over
- Make sure there’s plenty of good filling food like pizzas and bread and provide entertainment and space to dance etc. This is especially important if alcohol is present to reduce the risk of problems associated with drinking
- Be prepared with First Aid.
When your teenager wants to go to a party, agree to some conditions.
Things to discuss
Contact the host’s parents and find out about supervision, time, location, arrangements regarding alcohol and transport. Your teenager will probably accuse you of not trusting them. Point out that trust is not the issue, you are concerned about their safety. Be open about what you’re doing - going behind their back is not a good idea
When things go wrong
Most teenagers will experiment with alcohol and getting it wrong is not uncommon.
“Even with the best parents in the world, young people can still get into trouble”
While some young people may periodically drink heavily, most get through it okay!
What if your teenager…
- goes to a party when you have forbidden it?
- steals alcohol from your drinks cupboard?
- comes home drunk, vomiting?
- or worse, you have to collect a very drunk teenager from a party?
- Go back to any agreements you made. If consequences were agreed upon, they must be carried out. Give them the opportunity to explain what happened.
- Do not try to reason with a drunk teenager.
Wait until the morning when they are sober and you are less angry.