Graduation Party Survival Kit


High school graduation is a big deal. The kids want to celebrate -- make sure they're safe!

By FamilyTime

 

In small towns, big cities, and sprawling suburbs, 17- and 18-year olds face a major milestone this month: graduation from high school. After the speeches, photographs, and congratulations from teachers and grandparents, most kids head out to party.

A parent's graduation-night job to make sure their child makes it home safely after a night of joyous celebration.

Talk with Your Teen
You've heard it before, but at no time is it more important to talk to your teen about your expectations.

The best defense is open, honest, and ongoing dialogue about being responsible and what your family considers appropriate behavior.

Equally important is an in-place strategy for handling questionable situations. What if the driver of the car is drunk? What if other kids light up a joint? It may be uncomfortable to talk about these subjects with your kids, but it's important.

Make sure your child feels he or she can call you if they get in trouble. Encourage use of a "safe ride" system in your town, and discuss the idea of naming a designated driver.

Make sure your teens cell phone is fully charged and ready before he or she leaves the house (as if!). If your child doesn't have one, lend him yours, if possible.

Get Together with Other Parents
Some communities have come together and supported parents who want to throw a fantastic graduation party for their kids. While these can be pricey, they can also be lots of fun and reassuring to parents.

To be successful, the party should include the entire class and invited guests. The venue should be large and easy to get to, with plenty of parking.

The party will be fun if there is great food and nonstop activities such as carnival games, dancing, and live entertainment. Some parties throw in fortune tellers, manicures, and light shows. Hire a great local band or a DJ the kids like. The young graduates will rock until dawn.

Hosting a Party at Home
Your graduate may want to give a party for a group of friends. If you're up to it, this can be lots of fun.

Before you say yes, establish a few ground rules. For instance, make it clear that no alcohol or drugs will be tolerated and that anyone who brings either will be asked to leave.

Make the following decisions together:

  • The entertainment and an acceptable noise level.
  • When the party begins and ends.
  • Who is on the guest list.
  • Where the kids will park cars.
  • How to handle party crashers.
  • Establish that leaving and then returning to the party is unacceptable.
  • What areas of the house are "off limits."
  • Who will clean up after the party.
  • Who will notify the neighbors of the party.

In most states, adults are responsible if any alcoholic beverages or drugs are possessed or consumed at their home. They could be criminally liable in many states if a minor has an alcohol-related accident.

When Your Teen Is a Guest
Chances are your child will be heading out the door to a party. Teenagers prefer to attend parties at houses where adults are absent. Parents prefer the opposite!

Talk to your son or daughter about the party. Your child's safety is your primary concern and they should understand this. You are right to make sure of the following:

  • To know who will be chaperoning the party.
  • To know, in general, who the other guests will be. You can tell a lot about a party by the group of kids attending it.
  • To know when the party begins and ends.
  • To know how your child will get to and home from the party.

Your child should understand that you don't approve of parties where alcohol is served. On the other hand, he should feel he can call you if he's uncomfortable once he arrives at the party. Ditto for calling you for a ride at any hour of the night.

Sanctioning senior parties is a good way for parents to let their kids know that they are proud of them and that they trust them. Making sure the kids are safe is a way of showing our kids we are taking care of them -- despite their advanced years!