As your tweens and teens are getting older, expanding their social circle may be increasingly important to them. They may start asking about having friends over to their home or they may be asking to go their friends’ home for parties. In this week’s On Call for All Kids, Jasmine Reese, M.D., an adolescent medicine specialist and the director of the Adolescent and Young Adult Specialty Clinic at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, shares helpful party planning tips for parents to keep your teens safe.
Plan out and discuss the guest list
Whether you’re planning the party at your home or your teen is going to a friend’s house, talk with your teens about the number of guests who are expected to be at the party as well as the ages. With the variety of social media platforms that exist today, news related to an upcoming party can travel fast! Keep your party guest list to a number that can be easily supervised and maintained. Consider having no more than 10-15 teens per supervising adult.
Know when and where
Teen parties can sometimes travel to more than one house in a night and they usually start late in the night. Ask your teens if they will be traveling and be sure they are driving responsibly or they are with a trusted adult driver. Be aware of teen curfew laws in your community and also be sure to set expectations for the time they should be returning home.
Discuss party rules and expectations
Adolescent years can often be a time of curiosity, exploration, and experimentation. Teens may be considering experimenting with alcoholic beverages, smoking, vaping or other drugs. Not only is this illegal, but this can be extremely dangerous especially if your teens are driving. Having open and honest discussions with your teens and setting expectations in advance will help guide your teens in making good decisions for themselves.
Show interest in your teen’s social life
Know your teen’s friends and party hosts. This will help parents to feel more comfortable about where their teen is going and also know who to contact if any unexpected concerns come up. Be awake when your teen gets home and willing to talk to them about how their experience was. Teens will know you are taking your expectations and curfew seriously and that you genuinely care.
On Call for All Kids is a weekly series featuring Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital medical experts. Visit HopkinsAllChildrens.org/Newsroom each Monday for the latest report.