top of page

Teens| Partying and Drinking

Updated: Mar 18, 2023

So your teen wants to start going to parties but you are freaking out because all you can think about is the terrible shit that can go wrong. Congratulations, you’ve just levelled up in the parenting game. Teenage parties, underage drinking, drug use, alcohol poisoning, and drunk driving are just a few potentials danger that runs through your mind at the thought of your child's budding social life.




It’s scary AF when they start high school because you know firsthand what new experiences are lurking around the corner, experiences you aren’t sure you’re ready for your sweet baby angel to discover.


They are making a new group of friends and organizing social events with people you don’t know and most likely getting into shenanigans you are not ready to deal with. You start asking yourself all kinds of questions like-What do you know of these new kids and parents? What kind of shit are they getting into? Do you start setting a curfew? Will there be drinking involved? Drugs? Peer pressure? It’s a lot to think about and honestly not something you can avoid for long.



Parties are a great way for your child to develop social skills and navigate new and difficult situations but more importantly, they are fun. The hard part is you know firsthand what those experiences involve and it’s so hard to let go and trust your child to navigate this new world.


I remember when my oldest hit this stage all I could think of was all the dumbass shit my friends and I did when we were their age despite the warnings and rules my parents laid down and how unprepared I felt now that my own child was ready to launch themselves headfirst down that rabbit hole. What worried me the most was the dishonesty there had been between my parents and me during that time and how more than anything I did not want that with my kids.


My husband and I want to encourage a healthy relationship with alcohol and parties. I want them to understand the risks, learn how to prioritize school and how manage themselves with whatever situation comes their way. But most importantly I want them to trust me and feel safe talking to me about what is happening in their lives. Your child is entering the stage in their development where adult supervision won't be present much of the time. You want them to explore their independence while also maintaining a positive relationship.


To be clear, I don’t want you to think I'm naive, I know kids lie so right out of the gate I highly recommend setting concise boundaries and expectations with your kid. Be clear about the rules and expectations you have around illegal drugs. alcohol, binge drinking and the potential danger that comes with them. It's helpful to quickly get yourself acquainted with all major social media apps. You are going to want to know the ins and outs of snap chat, Instagram and TikTok and start creeping like you are an FBI analyst and get some answers STAT because I assure you no matter how open your relationship is they will still try to test you.


Spoiler Alert!! 99% of teenagers, mine and yours included having a parent-friendly account on social media and then their real one. So get creative in your stalking my friends.

 


This may be an unpopular opinion but we’ve always felt that we wanted to let our kids test the party scene, but with us controlling the situation in terms of the who, when and where as well as the types and amount of alcohol they have access to. We have chosen to use a gradual approach with regard to alcohol with our kids. By allowing a small amount on occasion, teaching them about control, and avoiding binging. We started with a small controlled amount in a safe environment before releasing them into the wild.


Communication First

We talk all the time about expectations and lay out ground rules. Reminding them we always need to know exactly where they will be, who they will be with, where they are going, curfew, what to do if they don’t feel comfortable, and how they will be getting home. I want them to have a great time but they frist need to reassure their crazy paranoid mother that they have a solid and detailed plan.

Parenting Hack!! A mom friend organized a group chat with other parents and we all took turns being the designated driver so that there was always a parent on call if our kids needed anything. It was pretty brilliant and I’m forever grateful for that support system.


Have a backup plan.

Be very clear on what will happen if the rules are broken. I always like to remind my teens of my parental responsibility, which means sometimes I have to make unpopular decisions.

We have always been very clear that once a plan has been made there is no changing it. You can’t tell us you are staying at one person's house and then moving to another. If my kids aren't where they say they are I will drag their asses home.


Open Invitation

We’ve always let our kids and their friends know that they can call us at any time of the night no matter what. If they are drunk, used drugs or the party gets out of control we will always come to get them no questions asked! I’ve always felt very proud that over the years my kids have always been quick to call if something isn’t ok or if they are uncomfortable and want to come home. Have I been pissed off that they let themselves, a friend or a situation get out of hand? Absolutely, but I have to say typically I’m more impressed they picked up the phone and asked for help.


Have a coded message

If your child is too embarrassed but wants to come home. We have them text us and then I call telling my child I have to come to get them. I am always happy to be the bad guy. If a party is out of hand, I’ll shut it down. If they want to come home I’ll call and pretend I have to get them for whatever reason. I find this strategy works great when your kids are in situations they aren’t ready for and need a clean exit.


Whatever path you choose to tackle this uncharted territory, don’t let parenting peer pressure get you. If another parent is letting their kid go out but you aren’t ready to let that happen, hold your ground. You know your kids better than anyone, stay true to your values, be informed and know you’ve got this!



A Captain's Blog is a real-life millennial mom's account of parenting teenagers and navigating a busy family life with honesty and humour. I'm a digital creator who loves to inspire, empower and connect by sharing my personal experience. I am a serial entrepreneur, and social media marketing maven who would love to have you along for the ride.


223 views0 comments
bottom of page