Your teen asks if he can attend a party. He says the parents will be home, and it’s just a few kids from school getting together to eat pizza and watch movies. The scene is very familiar to all parents, but how often is this story the truth? All too often, teenage parties are the source of legal issues, drug and alcohol use, and other dangerous and reckless behaviors.
What’s Really Happening During High School Parties
In some cases, movies and pizza may very well be the only thing on the agenda. More often than not, however, when your teen attends a late-night party over the weekend, there’s a lot more happening with more serious consequences. As a responsible parent, you want to be aware of what’s really happening. Here are some of the most common occurrences:
- Dancing and Music: Almost every party has music, and teens dancing in close proximity to each other. The results of such proximity can lead to other things. Additionally, loud music is the most common cause of the police showing up, which could lead to your teen being arrested.
- Sex: When the close proximity turns to sex, there’s a much bigger problem. Teens are often very unsafe with their sexual activities. They may or may not use protection, putting teenage girls at higher risks for pregnancy. STDs are also a very real concern at parties.
- Drugs and Alcohol: Almost 50 percent of teens have abused drugs of some kind and 71 percent of teens will have drunk alcohol before they graduate high school. Oftentimes, these substances make their debut at parties where there’s little or no parent supervision, and it’s easy for substances to change hands without notice. Many teens will try drugs or alcohol for the first time at a school party.
Don’t be ignorant in thinking that your teens aren’t exposed to negative influences at parties, particularly if they go to a larger school. It’s important to recognize the very real risks they face.
Helping Teens Make Safe and Responsible Choices
You can do your part by preventing attendance of these kinds of parties, but you’ll never be able to completely control your teen’s actions, nor should you. It’s better to teach teens how to make responsible and safe choices when exposed to negative influences like wild parties. Here are some tactics for doing so:
- Allow them to make their own choices (within reason) and allow them to experience the consequences.
- Teach them to appropriately manage emotions.
- Openly discuss the importance of making responsible choices.
- Be an understanding, but firm, source for them to talk to.
Many behavioral issues arise from things like negative influences that are often found at parties. You can do your best to help nip the problems in the bud by being informed and providing a safe confidant for kids. If you have more questions about raising your teens in a healthy environment, contact Liahona Academy at 1-800-675-8101.