Parties, Sleep, and Sex
When Your Teen Is Giving A Party
Set the ground rules and consequences ahead of time. Let your teen know what you expect of him/her as a host. Set room boundaries within your home and remember the importance of lighting. Rules for the party should include:
- Adult supervision
- No drugs, including alcohol
- No smoking
- No leaving the party and then returning
- No uninvited guests
Set a time limit. Set definite starting and ending times. Check local curfew laws when setting an appropriate ending time. Provide adequate travel time for your guest to get home before curfew.
Know your responsibilities. Explain to your teen that you are legally responsible for anything that happens to a minor who has been served drugs or alcohol in your home. Include your teen in this feeling of responsibility. Guests who bring alcohol should be asked to leave. Be ready to notify the parents of teens arriving intoxicated to ensure their safe transportation home. Be aware of guests arriving with paper bags, sports bags, large cargo pockets, or backpacks. If you suspect something check it out.
Be visible and available. Pick out a spot where you can maintain adequate supervision. Bringing in snacks or beverages is a way to interact with the guests.
Invite another parent or couple. Other adults can help you if necessary.
Be willing to call the police if needed. Ask the police for follow-up information.
When Your Teen Is Going To A Party
Call the host parent. Call to verify the party and offer assistance. Make sure a parent will be present and that alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs will not be permitted.
Know where your child is going and with whom. Have the telephone number and address of the party, and ask your teen to call you if the location of the party changes. Let him/her know where you will be during that time.
Discuss how to handle possible situations. Role play. Let your teen know what you expect him/her to do if alcohol or other drugs are offered. Help develop a comfortable way to refuse such drugs (i.e. if someone offers you a drink, you can say, “No, thank you... I'd rather dance”...or … “It makes me sick”...or “I was just about to leave”). The safest beverage that you can have is one you open yourself.
Know how your teen will get home from the party. Make it easy for your child to leave a party by making it clear that he or she can call you, a neighbor, or a friend for a ride home. Discuss the possible situations in which he or she might need to make such a call. Develop a family code to communicate the situation that will allow your child to save face, but let you know they want to leave. Insist that your teenager NEVER ride home with a driver who has been drinking.
Evaluate teen overnights carefully. Communicate your expectations, and verify that:
- Your teen is welcomed.
- A parent will be home the entire time.
- Curfews will be honored.
- The parent will call if your teen does not honor your expectations.
Be up to greet your teen when s/he comes home. Be awake, or have your teen awaken you, when s/he arrives home. It is a good way to show that you value your child as well as an opportunity for conversation.
Spring Break Trips
Spring Break is a time when you and your family can relax and enjoy a reprieve from the rigors of academics. We need to do all we can to make Spring Break safe and enjoyable. It is best to have our young people properly chaperoned and to avoid putting them at risk. The media has documented our concerns with reports of binge drinking, drug use, date rape, and sexually transmitted diseases.
In an effort to keep our children safe and to help them make wise choices, provide adequate boundaries by considering the following suggestions:
- Make sure your child has reliable chaperones at all times. Accompany your child on all out-of- town trips.
- Remember that “everyone is doing it” may not be accurate and is certainly not a good reason for condoning an unwise or unsafe activity.
- Communicate with other parents in planning safe activities. Your child needs you to establish the rules. Your child looks to you for guidance and for setting appropriate limits.
Teen Sleep Needs
Researchers have proven what parents already know—teens are not early risers. Mid-to-late teens have an internal clock that induces sleepiness later at night, and requires them to sleep later in the morning. Parents need to pay attention to changes in sleeping patterns which might necessitate further monitoring.
Abstinence and Sex
Talk to your teen about sexual activity based on God’s plan for marriage:
- Studies show that parent-child communication is associated with sexual abstinence.
- Teens want their parents to talk to them about sexuality issues.
- Living chastely allows a clear conscience and a right relationship with God.
- Practice ways of saying “NO” to sex with your teen.
- Reserving sex for marriage protects us from conditions which put us at physical, emotional and spiritual risk
- Discuss the difference between love and sex.
Sexually active teens risk:
- Exposure to “AIDS”, genital warts, herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- Unwanted pregnancy or the responsibility of a pregnancy.
- Increased chances of infertility or cervical cancer.
- Loss of self-esteem and self-respect.
- Increased susceptibility to STD damage because they have a lower level of antibodies than adults.
- Being contagious, even though no symptoms exist.
“When you have sex with someone, you are having sex with everyone they have had sex with for the last ten years, and everyone their partners have had sex with for the last ten years.” C. Everett Koop
- 86% of Americans say it is NOT okay for teenagers to be sexually active.
- Nearly 50% of teenagers believe sex before marriage is always wrong.
- Sexually active teens are now choosing a chaste life and calling it secondary virginity.