Thursday, September 6, 2012

Teen Parties....Again

Clearly the summer is over. Coaching calls are coming in fast and furious. The teenagers are coming, the teenagers are coming wail the parents. Perhaps you were one of the lucky ones whose teens were off at summer camp, or a summer program and you didn't have to deal with the whole party scene all summer. What a relief. But now parties are back with a vengeance, and you are a little out of practice.
Let me help you.

This week alone I met with 4 different couples all with basically the same story. Either their teens were off to parties at friend's homes with parents in attendance and where drinking was not only allowed but encouraged. Or, parents allowed their teens to have a party at their house. Though the party started off small, it quickly spread like a  wild fire, with upwards of 40-50 kids in the basement and in the yard drinking and smoking pot. These parents said that they were present, and were up and down, in and out and aware of what was happening. A good start. And then I asked what they did when they saw the kids drinking and smoking? Unfortunately, nothing. They assumed their job was just to make sure everyone was OK. They didn't think their job was to be the drug and alcohol police. I get it. I get that when your teen has a party at your house, you don't want to look like the gestapo. You don't want to embarrass your teen, and mostly you are glad that your teen wants their friends to hang at your house, and that their friends like you. Trust me, the kids love you!!!!! And the consequence of that love is that your house will become the designated party house.

But here is the thing, it is unsafe and illegal! Please, if you are going to allow your teen to have a party at your house, you are going to have to grow some b**ls! Let your teen know that maybe in the past you turned a blind eye, but the new regime has come into town, and anyone who is caught drinking or taking drugs in your home, will have their parents called to be picked up. Absolutely no exceptions. If one of those kids who likes you so much, leaves your house high, and goes home wasted to parents who want to know where the hell they have been, and to save him or herself from grounding rats you out, being liked won't help when you face a judge. Or even worse, if a kid who has partied at your house, gets into a car and perhaps into an accident, do you really want to be responsible for that? Because you see, in the eyes of the law, you are responsible. You can't let your denial of the situation mirror your teen's denial of "no big deal." It is a big deal. So if you feel uncomfortable with grabbing the booze or the joint out of some kids hand and calling their parents, don't have a party at your house, it is just that simple.

Let your teen know that these are the rules. That if you allow kids to drink or do drugs in your home than you are liable for their safety, and that is a responsibility you are not willing to take on. Also it is illegal. Ask them what it would feel like to visit their parents in the slammer? So here again are the party rules:

1. Teens enter through the front door
2.. Your teen must provide you with an approximate number of kids coming over, not to exceed 20, unless you feel you honestly can handle more and keep them safe.
3. Any kid found with alcohol or pot will have the parents called for pick up
4. If pervasive drinking is occuring, party is terminated and parents are called
5. If the party is in the basement, make timely walks around the house to make sure kids aren't drinking in the yard or bringing booze into the basement.
6. Once a teen leaves the party, they do not return. (note: many kids take "walks" get high and then return to the house.

I know this is hard, but the safety of teens in your care depend on it!! Even if they don't get it.

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