Hosting a Graduation Party
Let’s face it: Most teens think alcohol-free after-parties are lame. So much so that many schools and communities actually bribe kids to attend by giving away big-ticket items like iPads and cars. But if your school isn’t hosting an after-party event, then what?
You could consider hosting your own. Yes, it’s daunting, and, yes, your teen will probably complain and cry and say you’re ruining their lives—but, in the long run, isn’t it worth it? Graduation celebrations leave many of our teens injured, assaulted, and even dead because of decisions they make under the influence of alcohol. Playing charades at home isn’t the worst thing that could happen.
So, how can you make it even slightly fun? Here are a few hints:
- Get other parents in your child’s friends group involved so you can combine resources and not end up with competing parties.
- Once your child knows other kids are coming over, they’ll be inclined to make the party cool—so get their buy-in on music, food, and activities.
- Create a fun wall or background for selfies.
- Have your child make Spotify mixes for any mood.
- If you don’t have a big screen TV, consider renting one and doing a movie marathon. Scary movies almost always keep kids’ attention.
- Get out the board games. You can pretty much rely on Jenga, Pictionary, and Cranium for laughs, even from the most games-are-lame kid.
- Track down old-school video games like Pac-Man or Tetras and create a tournament with prizes.
- Get lots of snacks, obviously, and make a late-night pancake breakfast.
Don’t forget about safety, too. Kids may try to sneak in alcohol or sneak out of the house. Keep a semi-close eye on things.
- Have a few parents take shifts at your house to help with check-ins so you’re not the only “uncool” parent talking to the kids.
- Ensure kids stay until the end of the party and can’t leave until a parent picks them up.
- Enforce a zero-tolerance rule. (If children sneak alcohol, you could become liable for any actions they take that harm others.) Check bags and have kids sign a pledge.
With a little advance planning and some help from other parents, it might actually not be so bad. You child will thank you later, like when they’re 30.
See why it’s so important to keep your child alcohol-free at BeTheParents.org/learn-the-risks.Tags: alcohol, graduation, Idaho, teen, underage drinking