9 Parenting tips when your teen is going for class parties
Created by Swati Nitin Gupta Updated on Apr 07, 2017
As parents we know that every stage of parenting has its own challenges, but the most difficult stage perhaps is when your child is entering his teens. This is the age, where your child is, well not a child anymore, but not an adult either. He is confused as he/she is experiencing a lot of changes--peer pressure, performance pressure, own bodily changes etc—and all these sometimes affect the child’s confidence so much so that they are wary of asking your help for the fear of being judged. And more so when it is about a party or a get-together where the teen knows that he probably will be snubbed by you. But as a parent it is also your responsibility to ensure your child’s safety. Here are some suggestions on what you can do to ensure that it is a win-win situation for both you and your child.
1. Befriend the class teacher
If it is a class party, the class teacher will most probably be aware of it. Speak to her and voice whatever concerns you may have about the event. She may be able to put your worries at ease.
Parenting tip: Use technology and befriend the class teacher and keep in touch with her through whatsapp and facebook.
2. Don’t judge his/her friends
Whatever you do! While you are talking about a party your teen wants to attend, casually bring in the topic of his or her classmates, for instance, who all will be going? How will they be going? etc., but don’t show a marked approval or disapproval about the friends. You may tell them about the deadlines, watch-outs and safety rules, but not at the cost of judging the same friends he possibly feels closest to at that stage. Be strategic. Again don’t ask them pointed questions, else they will clam up or talk back to you.
Parenting tip: Once in a month invite all the friends to spend a day at your home so that you get to meet your child’s friends, however don’t hang in there too long.
3. Pick and drop arrangement
This is yet another important point to consider and it doesn’t matter whether you have a son or a daughter, but having a safe way to commute to and fro from the party venue, is a must. Speak to fellow parents about this and you may together decide to either pick or drop the child. Also, if the gathering is at someone’s house, talk with the host to know the timings of the party, safety on roads, traffic situation etc. It is advisable to keep yourself tentatively available in case you need to pick or drop the child.
Parenting Tip: If there is a friend’s or a relative’s house in the vicinity, give your child the address and phone number of this person as well.
4. Adult supervision
In a party full of teens, there has to be some responsible adult supervision, to handle any situations that may crop up. So make sure you know the adult who will be supervising your child.
Parenting Tip: Exchange your number with that person so that you can be reached if needed.
5. Talk to your child about the potential threats
Before you permit your child to attend a party, ensure that you have a heart-to-heart with him/her and speak about the potential dangers that may arise at the party venue. Ensure that your child is well-equipped to deal with them. You may warn them about leaving their drinks unattended or accepting drinks from strangers, getting involved in drugs or alcohol. Keep the tone conversational and not nagging while being honest with your child and sharing your concerns. No matter how much you advice your teen about the dangers, the peer pressure and the atmosphere will cloud his or her thinking. You could discuss news from media on a similar issue with your teen highlighting what could have been done better in the circumstance.
Parenting Tip: Be tech-savvy! Search a video showcasing the dangers of trusting a stranger and share it with your teen through whatsapp!
6. Keep a track about the child’s whereabouts
This is not just about the party, but overall be aware about his whereabouts, the friends he meet, or talks over the phone. However, ensure that whenever you initiate a conversation with your teen, you are talking to him as a friend and not as a parent else they may find it as an encroachment of privacy.
Parenting Tip: Casually talk to him or her about his/her day and then share yours as well with them. This is a good way to bond with them as well.
7. Talk and not preach
Talking to a teen may seem like an uphill task. Well it is not, if you just talk and not preach. Talk like you would talk to a responsible adult. Keep the tone neutral and have a two-way communication—listen as much as you speak. This will instil the confidence in your child that you are genuinely interested in this and not just judgemental. It is important that you watch out your tone with teenagers, as they are sensitive to any lecturing tones.
Parenting Tip: Invite your teen for a meal to their favourite restaurant and take it from there! During the conversation, keep your gadgets away! The emails and messages can wait!
8. Bonding – an ongoing process
Build a trusting environment at home where communication flows freely. Most of the time when we are talking to our children we are simultaneously busy on one or the other gadget. So there is no communication flow between us and our child. The result is that you both feel that neither of you have time for other. So next time when your teen wants to share anything with you be all ears to him or her.
Parenting tip: You may make dinner time a gadget free time and no TV time as well, so that you all may spend some quality time together.
9. Keep calm and don’t hit the panic button
In case something unpleasant happens, stay calm and handle the situation like a responsible adult. Your teen will respect you for this.
Parenting Tip: This will be the time to bond with your teen, so use it wisely and don’t get into ‘I told you so’ arguments.
| Sep 27, 2016
your advice was really helpfull. Thanks
| Sep 07, 2016
Really very useful.
| Aug 10, 2016
Very useful tips! thanks for sharing Swati!
| Aug 08, 2016
Really helpful blog.
| Aug 08, 2016
In sync with Canisha on quite an interesting blog on teenager parenting. I will also try these parenting tips on my son and what is best that some of the tips can start from today itself. @Swati thanks Swati keep up the good work.
| Aug 08, 2016
Nice insight and useful tips
| Aug 08, 2016
Hey that's an interesting blog on parenting a teenager. Will come handy for my son.