The Famous House Party – What Could Go Wrong?

Group Of Teenage Friends Dancing And Drinking Alcohol

By Angie Seth @kateygoalie

Angie Seth, Contributor

Angie Seth, Contributor

Recently I read a story about a house party in the Greater Toronto Area that got out of hand. It all started off as an invite on Facebook, that later exploded onto twitter. The guest numbers kept growing into the hundreds. Now this may be the extreme to a typical house party – in this case close to 2000 kids packed a mansion that was still under construction – but the concept is the same: a massive house party with tons of kids and the result … disaster, especially for the home owners.

By this, I am talking about potential underage drinking and property damage. After all, if you have a home packed full of kids how can you control what goes on in every room? The GTA mansion sustained tens of thousands in damages.

I have read many stories in which other house parties have left thousands of dollars in damage – it’s like an unsupervised playground – one in which we need to educate our kids on the rules of play.

 

So what do we need to teach our kids? Well, we all remember that famous house party we went to when we were younger – happy it wasn’t our home, but boy didn’t we have a blast, and what a story to tell our friends. Well at some point in our lives, our children will be going to that ever famous house party. The question is how will they handle it? How will we handle it? Will they be one of the ones to drink illegally, to cause damage, to perhaps get picked up by the cops? Or will they do the right thing and not succumb to peer pressure and sheer stupidity?

house party; teens; drinkingWell everyone knows I have a 19-year-old, and yes, house party stories have been told – just not about my house. I want my daughter to be able to go out and enjoy time with her friends. And yes, any good party, where everyone is going, is the party to be at, but responsibility and respect is my rule when it comes to these famous house parties. I have clearly explained to my daughter that I do not want to her become a statistic, and I certainly do not want to her to one of those kids required to “return to the scene of the crime” to clean up the mess, nor do I want a visit from the cops.

Believe me, I have heard stories from her where holes are put in walls and mirrors were broken – that was always her cue to leave. Now not all parties are like this, but there is always one and its important to have that talk with your kids to keep them prepared.

 

It’s important for our kids to go out, and experience new things with their friends. That is how I believe they grow and learn. I am not about restrictions – I believe that can lead to rebellion, but I am also not going to give my kid full reign to do whatever she wants. It is a fine line. Raising kids is not easy. As they get older, they constantly want to put the limits. As parents it is our job to teach them what those limits are and when its okay to push the boundaries. Just think of the prom.

Prom was the ultimate night out – there was the pre-party, the prom itself, and then the post party – anything could happen! I never went to my prom, so I wanted to make sure my daughter did and that she got the most out of the experience. On the responsibility part, she and her friends rented a bus, on the respect side, she stuck to her curfew and came home not a minute later – if either one of those rules were broken, her partying days would be far and few.

 

Parties are great, but it’s important to teach our kids when to realize when it’s gone beyond fun and has turned into something completely stupid and unsafe. It’s an important conversation every parent needs to have with their child, and that talk needs to happen at an early age to really enforce the rules of respect and responsibility.

 

teen drinkingSo before your kid heads out the door for that ever memorable party, here is a check list you might want to discuss with your teen first: 

 

1) Make sure you know the address of where the party is and who is throwing the party.

2) If your teen is of legal drinking age and plans to drink, make sure they have money for a cab

3) If your teen is going with friends, who are they? Who is driving or are they cabbing it together? Know the go home plan.

4) Talk to your teen about drinking habits … make sure they know not to mix alcohols and to know when to stop.

5) Find out who is going to the party

6) Make sure your teen keeps to the buddy system.

7) Curfew is a curfew!! Late by a few minutes doesn’t cut it!

8) Make sure your teen keeps in touch with you. ie they text you when they get to the party, and text your when they are leaving.

9) Don’t forget to tell them to have fun and that you trust them

10) BREATHE!!

Happy and safe party going!


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  1. Shalini

    Great advice Angie. My daughter just had her prom last week and we allowed her to host the after prom party at our house. We were definately worried after the mansion party incident but we set up rules and guidelines with daughter and her and her friends stuck to them. They had an amazing time and made some wonderful prom memories that they will cherish.

    It’s about rules, trust, and hoping they make the right decisions.


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