A SafeHomes Committee in a neighboring town encourages parents to:
- Know your child’s friends, as well as their parents.
- Know where your children are, and let them know where you are.
- When kids are home alone, make sure they know how to get help.
- Always let them know where you are going and when you plan to return.
- Assure your children that they can contact you to be given a ride home whenever needed.
- Leave a taped or written message for your child, if no one will be home when they arrive home after school.
- Be awake or ask to be awakened when your young people and their friends come home at night.
- Verify your child’s activities. Find out if they are parent-supervised and make sure that there will be no alcohol or other drugs served.
- Abide by set curfews for weekdays and weekends.
- Encourage small parties and do not allow party crashers or activities potentially harmful to any guests.
- Be visible hosts.
- Contact the parents of kids you suspect to be high, stoned or drunk. Also be willing to provide transportation to protect such youth and contact the appropriate law enforcement agency if necessary.
TAKE A FIRM ANTI-ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUG STAND
How does your family decide on teenage privileges and responsibilities?
Have you ever wished for a standard to help you make those decisions?
The following guidelines are designed for just that purpose. They may be too restrictive for some families and too permissive for others; but by using them as a guide we can establish a sense of agreement in our community.
When Your Child Is Invited to a Party
1. When your child receives an invitation to a party, tell him/her that you intend to call the host parent to determine whether there will be parental supervision and if alcoholic beverages will be served. Be sure to follow through on these plans.
2. When you are comfortable with the party plans, including transportation arrangements, only then give your consent for the child to attend the party. Be sure to know when the party ends and when your child will be home.
3. Make it easy for your child to leave a party where there is drinking or other drug use. Discuss this in advance. If, for any reason, your child wishes to leave the party early or has a change in plans, he/she should be able to call you or another designated adult for assistance.
4. Make it easy for your child to talk to you when arriving home. Being up and available when your child comes home from a party encourages communication and could alert you to a potential problem.
When Your Child is Having a Party
1. Have your child develop a guest list and party plans. Suggest changes if necessary, but try to be tactful.
2. Set specific beginning and ending times for the party. Consider daytime parties as alternatives to nighttime parties; other party ideas could include skating, swimming, watching a video, bowling, etc.
3. Set ground rules that are clearly understood by both you and your child in advance.
- No alcohol or other drugs. Remember it is illegal to serve alcohol or other drugs to minors even in a private home. Parents are legally responsible for anything that may happen to a minor who has been served alcohol or other drugs in their home.
- No smoking.
- No leaving the party and then returning.
- Limit the party to a certain area of your house.
- Leave lights on.
4. Try to reconcile your child’s plans for the party with your own standards. Don’t compromise your standards, but be understanding of your child’s feelings.