The Party Dilemma - ‘yes’ or ‘no’?

There’s a party on the horizon and your young person wants to go – because ‘everyone else’ is going!

But, how do you know whether to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’?

You might have concerns about who is attending, who is supervising and if alcohol will be provided.

Try these tips to help you make an informed decision.

Contact the host

First, find out what sort of party it’s going to be.

Some good questions to ask the host (parent/guardian) are:

  • what are the ages of the attendees?
  • will there be supervision and how many adults will be supervising?
  • will food be provided?
  • will there be alcohol at the party? (make sure you let the host know if you give permission for your young person to drink alcohol or not)
  • are there plans for preventing gate crashers?
  • when will the party start and end? (so you can organise safe transport home.)35
father talking to teen son

Give your young person safe partying tips

If you do say ‘yes’ to a party, it’s the ideal time to have The Other Talk and them with knowledge and techniques to reduce potential harm.

Make your views on alcohol and drugs clear and help them to say ‘no’

If you don’t want your young person to drink alcohol at a party, make sure you let the host know.

You can brainstorm ways of saying ‘no’ to alcohol and drugs with your young person, like having a good excuse ready: ‘I’m playing in a big game tomorrow’ or ‘I’m on antibiotics’. Work together to come up with excuses that aren’t embarrassing. They can also just hold any alcoholic drink they are given and put it down later.

More information on peer pressure and how to say no.

Have a plan for the night

Agree how your young person will get home, to ensure they don’t get into a car with a driver who has been drinking, is affected by other drugs or doesn’t have a licence.

You can also help them develop a plan with their friends around what they will do if they lose each other, such as nominating a meeting place, having phone numbers written on a piece of paper in case phones get lost or batteries die, and who to call in an emergency.

Let your young person know you are always available to pick them up if they feel unsafe.

Encourage them to stay with their friends

Talk about why it’s important to stick with their friends, and let their friends know where they are going, what they are doing and who they are with, if they do leave them.

Discuss how your young person can look after their friends. You could talk about how a fight could be defused and what to do if someone becomes intoxicated or unwell.

It’s important to encourage your young person to look after a friend who is intoxicated by staying with them, putting them on their side (recovery position) in case they vomit, and calling triple zero (000) if they pass out or are in trouble.

Let them know it’s OK to call you or triple zero if they are scared or affected by alcohol or other drugs and that an ambulance will not call the police if someone has been underage drinking or taken drugs.

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