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Keeping Teens Safe at Parties

Helping your teens make good choices can keep them from getting in over their head.

Happy teen holding a drink

Balancing safety with having fun

Parenting a teen who wants to attend parties without adult supervision can be stressful!

It’s understandable that you may worry about the risks your teen is exposed to.

There are things you can do to help prepare your teen so they can make good choices and stay safe.

What are the common risks?

You might worry your child will be exposed to risks such as:

  • Drinking alcohol under the age of 18
  • Consuming illicit drugs
  • Unsafe sex
  • Violence or aggressive behaviour
  • Having non-alcoholic drinks spiked
  • Smoking
  • Driving under the influence
  • Illegal behaviour and/or police involvement

Balancing their need for independence with keeping them safe

It’s often hard to balance your teen’s need for independence with your need to keep them safe from potential risks.

Here are some suggestions for how to minimise the risks but still allow them some freedom to explore and experiment safely:

  • Make sure they have a way to contact you in case of an emergency
  • Talk to your teen about your concerns in a calm, low key way
  • Give them information on how to handle potentially dangerous situations eg. in an emergency they need to call 000
  • Arrange for a back-up contact person if needed
  • Find out where the party is, who is hosting, who may be attending and if there’s any adult supervision
  • Give your child age-appropriate information about the risks that accompany underage drinking, drug taking and unprotected sex

General tips for safe partying

Have a direct and open conversation with your teen so they know what you expect of them when it comes to parties. You can also empower your teen to stay safe by offering them these ideas on what to do once they’re at the party:

Don’t get into a car if there’s drinking or drugs involved

Trust their gut instinct – if it doesn’t feel right then don’t do it

If there’s a change of location tell their parent/carer or an adult they trust where they’re going

If they don’t want to drink alcohol or take drugs - don’t! Having fun isn’t about being drunk or getting high

If a friend is upset or unwell, stay with them until their person comes to pick them up

Before the party, organise a parent or adult to drop them off and pick them up

Keep their wits about them and stay in control of themselves

Don’t go off with someone they just met – if they’re interested in them, get their number

If they’re going to drink, do it in moderation and pace themselves

Eat food and drink water as this slows the absorption of alcohol

If they feel unsafe or uncomfortable it’s time to leave – call/text their person to pick them up and take them home

Avoid accepting drinks or drugs from other people - they don’t know what might be in them

Stay with friends they trust, don’t go off on their own

In an emergency call 000

Reach out for support if you’re still worried

Parenting isn’t always easy but there’s always somebody you can talk to or something you can try.

This content was last reviewed 10/05/2018

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