With everything there is to do this holiday season, perhaps the last thing you want to consider is letting your teen host a party for friends and classmates in your home. However, there are some good reasons for doing so.
A key advantage is safety. If your teen and their friends are under your roof, you can keep an eye on things — without hovering — and help ensure that no one is drinking alcohol. You can lock your alcohol away, which is something you can’t be sure that other parents will do.
Even when alcohol isn’t being served, kids can still sneak it inside. You can watch for signs that kids are intoxicated. If you set clear expectations with your child that no alcohol will be allowed, however, you’ll likely minimize the chances that they’ll invite kids who will bring it in. You can also help them share in the responsibility for making sure that no one consumes alcohol (or drugs) in your home.
By letting your teen host a party, you have a chance to meet their friends and better get to know those you may have seen only at games or carpools. You can observe how your child interacts with them and get an idea of who is a good or bad influence on your teen.
Hosting a party at your house can also give you a chance to meet some of the parents of your teen’s friends. If a parent is dropping off or picking up a child, take a few minutes to greet them. Perhaps you can exchange phone numbers. Let them know that their kids will be safe at your house. This can be a big relief to a parent. They may decide to let their teen host a party as well.
When parents take on this responsibility, even if it means a night staying home when you’d rather be out, you minimize the chances that your child will engage in underage drinking, drive drunk or get in a car with another intoxicated driver.
Even if a teen is fortunate enough not to get involved in an accident while driving under the influence, a DUI arrest can impact both their short- and long-term goals. If that happens to your teen, it’s essential to take the matter seriously and not let them face the justice system alone.