Having an alcohol- free teen party is not so hard to do, but it will take some planning. The reason why parents and teens encourage the drinking of alcohol at teen parties is that other people are doing it – and deep down is the fear that without some alcoholic drinks the party will not be a success.
Having an agreement with your teen to have an alcohol free party helps them to learn responsibility and to improve their social skills. Many parents have a story of an intended small party for teens, where guests bring alcohol and the word has spread around. Suddenly, your street is full of neighborhood kids, and more from miles around – creating a disturbance, drinking alcohol and smashing bottles on the ground. Neighbors call the police, and the party is ruined.
When teens intend to hold a party at home, they will need to restrict their guest list, and not let it be thought in the neighborhood that the party is an “open house”. All teen parties need some form of adult supervision. Parents should remain on the premises, and make sure that the guests know they are around, even if in another room.
Parents should realize that people who hold parties, where there is known to be underage drinking, can be held responsible for personal injuries and damage caused to neighbors property by teens who are intoxicated. There is also a risk that teens will drink and drive as a result of alcohol drinking at a party.
Statistics from the UK from 2009-2010 show that alcohol drinking at parties causes accidental damage in people’s homes, to furniture, rugs, electronic equipment and glassware to a tune of around two hundred and sixty five million pounds a year. see article
Teens turn to alcohol drinking at parties, because they think there is nothing else to do - and sure enough if there is nothing to do at the party, teens might become bored and restless. Younger teens might enjoy one of many packaged theme parties, but older teens might think that they have outgrown such children’s entertainment. Instead of thinking about alcohol drinks, teens need to put on their thinking caps – and think about, with parental help, some great ideas for a party.
Teen parties can have music and dancing games, or dress up in a costume theme. Using an ethnic motif, perhaps Spanish food and drinks – castanets and Spanish clothes can provide that “difference’ and excitement that makes a teen party both memorable and successful.
Put some work into preparation and ask teens to make a contribution: their own special plate of food, a game they have invented, perhaps a musical instrument that they can play. Singing and music, good food and drinks, a genuine party atmosphere helps teens learn to socialize in a relaxed and positive way. When teens are involved in the party preparations, teens feel a sense of inclusion and involvement in the success of the party. The teen is not simply going to just another teen party when he has a role and is involved in the making of plans for the party.
Left to their own devices, teens might be attracted to using alcohol, playing alcohol games and binge drinking. There is more to having a party than making sure that everyone has got enough alcohol to drink.Both parents and teens can do better than that. With some inspiration and careful planning, you can have a most happy, and successful, alcohol free teen party.
Anticipation and preparation for a party is very much part of the old fashioned way of doing things. No fast food, canned music, canned drinks - standing, waiting to be amused. The old fashioned way meant that everyone helped and did their bit to contribute to the fun and people’s enjoyment of the party.
What teens want most is stimulation, something to provoke their imagination, and a well planned teen party can provide it.. Reports on teenage drinking show that parents are the most usual source of alcohol for teen drinking. When parents need and use alcohol as a social lubricant, it comes as no surprise to find high levels of drinking at teen parties, often supported and encouraged by parents.
When planning a party for their teen, parents need to take time out – sit down with their child, talk about the risks and dangers of alcohol use, and come to an agreement that teen parties for many reasons need to be alcohol free. That being decided, panic might set in – if we are not serving alcohol at the party – what can we offer the guests as drinks.
It is probably not the best idea to serve up non-alcoholic wine or beer – why bother, when there are so many alternatives to alcohol that are more fresh and tasty. The idea that we need to drink orange juice or soda water if not drinking alcohol at a party is completely outmoded.
Non-alcoholic party drink recipes can easily be found on internet and there are many to choose from.
It could be the beginning of a new family regime to start making healthy drinks that contain fresh fruits, sometimes vegetables, spices and herbs, not just for parties and special occasions but as part of a daily routine.