If your teen is going to their friend’s house, it’s likely that they’ll do more than watch movies and gossip. Instead of straight up telling you that they’re going to a party, they’ll tell you a lie about the night in they had with their friends. It’s only when that lie turns into something dangerous that you’ll find out that they were actually partaking in teen partying.
Teens crave the social atmosphere teen partying provides. It may be very important to them, and it’s hard to take something like that away from your teen. That’s why it’s important to set up enforceable limits for your teen. The worst thing you can do is set strict rules for them that are completely unreasonable. If you completely forbid them from going out and having fun with their friends, you’re damaging your relationship with them and their social life. Setting rules that are reasonable and easy to follow can stop your teen from getting into trouble.
Where’s the party happening?
If your teen is planning on going somewhere to hang out with their friends, the first thing you need to do is make sure that there will be adult supervision. Ask your teen which friend’s house they are going to. Then, call their parents. Yes, it may be awkward, but it’s necessary for you to find out if your teen has told you a lie about where they are going. You don’t want your life to become a teen movie, dealing with a situation where teen partying occurs once parents are out of town. Call with the intention of offering something for the party. For example, say, “I heard you were inviting some of Johnny’s friends over for a get together. That’s great! Can I send Suzy with something?” That way, you’re not interrogating the other parents and unintentionally damaging your relationship with your teen.
Once you know exactly where the party is happening, talk to your teen about specific rules you’d like them to follow. Talk to your teen about how they are getting to the party and when they are planning on returning. Stay awake until your teen comes home from the party. That way you can know if your teen has been drinking or doing drugs. If your teen is leaving the party to go somewhere else, have them call you.
If teen partying gets out of hand
If teen partying is spiraling out of control for your child, you might want to consider Trails Carolina. Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for teens ages 10-17 struggling with substance abuse issues, depression, anxiety, and other difficulties.
For more information about Trails Carolina, please call 800-975-7303.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Graham Shannonhouse has been actively involved in the wilderness therapy field for nearly three decades. After receiving her degree in 1991, Shannonhouse spent 10 years working with a premiere wilderness-based therapeutic program in south-central Idaho. During her tenure, she served three years as a hands-on Field Instructor, three years as Field Supervisor, and the remaining time as Wilderness Program Director. During this period she developed, managed, and served as counselor for the country’s first wilderness program specifically focused on pre- teens ages 10 to 13
Graham returned to the east in 2002 to serve as Executive Director for a therapeutic wilderness program based in North Carolina, successfully growing it to one of the most respected companies in the industry. In 2008, she resigned her position to open Trails Carolina. Having an intimate working knowledge of the roots of wilderness therapy, Graham has brought her experience and wisdom to her position as Partner and Executive Director with the goal of integrating the true family work that must be done to insure lasting success.