Another day, another news story about a teen party gone wild with the parent home and joining the fun. I keep sharing these stories, because I want the message to be clear, allowing teens to drink in your home is not safe!
In this particular story, teens are partying loud, and the neighbors disturbed by the decibels call the local police. A cruiser shows up to investigate. Some kids run, some kids decide to throw glass beer bottles at the policeman, and 16 of these over 50 party goers are too drunk to move from the beer pong game they have been playing in the barn, and are arrested. The policeman calls for backup, and they begin rounding up the kids and transporting them to JAIL, never dreaming that the parent was home. And lo and behold, a drunk, dazed and confused dad is found calmly cleaning up the bottles in the yard. When the police confront him, he seemed unfazed. And off to jail you go.
The scariest part of this story is what happened to the 40-50 kids who ran off when they heard the cops were coming. Running to get into cars, or through hill and dale to escape being caught, these kids are literally having the "time of their lives." This will become for them, a story for the ages. "And then the cops came, and we all ran, and then....." It's the "and then" that scares the hell out of me. Impulsivity and adrenalin can be a lethal combination. Kids drunk + running= injury. Motor coordination is seriously affected by alcohol and drugs. The body is not meant for coordination when it has been fed alcohol, thanks to the cerebelum, the part of the brain that controls motor coordination. And driving both drunk and crazy with excitement after alluding the cops, terrifying! The safest kids are the ones that were arrested.
The warm season is upon us. Teens will be partying and most likely will be partying outside, and cops will be called. Once teens are trashed they are well past worrying that they are talking too loud, and neighbors angry about being disturbed, will call the police, and the rest will be history. In this case, a parent was home. So, if you had done your due diligence and called the host parent about supervision you would have gotten: "oh yes absolutely I will be there supervising." Oh he was there all right, just having his own party somewhere else in the house, or perhaps even with the kids.
Parents being home does not equal supervision. As you can see by this story. It is really important for you to prepare your teens for this situation: "I get that one of these nights you will be at a party that gets out of control, and there will be a good chance that the police will be called, and that you could face either potential arrest or potential injury if you get caught up running from the cops. Neither of these are good options. Let's talk about a plan to help you anticipate when a party is about to go sour, and what you can do."
Please let your kids know that you are always available to help them, but after they are arrested or hurt it is too late, and they will have to experience the consequences. If they get arrested, you will not "get them off" they will have to face whatever that music is.
Anticipating that warm weather means party season is on is smart!!!! Have a system in place that helps your teen stay safe.