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Adolescence can be a trying time for both teenagers and their parents. Even though it's a stage all adults have been through themselves, dealing with it as a parent is not easy.
The rites of adolescence, which include sexual development, dating, experimentation of all kinds, first love and lots of other "firsts," scare adults because we see the potential for huge mistakes. Unfortunately, in response, many adults believe that what they don't know can't hurt them when it comes to activities such as teenage parties.
This couldn't be further from the truth. What you don't know can hurt you and your children.
The causes of problem parties are lack of adult supervision, "open" invitations and alcohol or drug use.
If your teen has attended parties of this kind and you are unable to deal with it, seek professional help. If something illegal is occurring, you can call the police. If the problem is a disciplinary issue, you might benefit from expert counseling.
Sometimes just a little help can prevent short-term problems from becoming more serious. Professionals can teach you techniques and show you options you might not have considered.
Experts give parents this advice:
Problems will sometimes arise no matter what a parent does. But you can cope:
For your teenager, being liked and accepted by peers is very important. Your child may feel pressured to have the kind of party that he or she thinks will be attractive. Your challenge as a parent is to give your child options for a successful party. Planning is your best bet.
An Opportunity to Reinforce Values and Enhance Your Relationship
Your willingness to help your child plan a party is a sign that you care. Likewise, talking with your child about attending a party is an opportunity to show love and establish trust.
Our best advice is to be aware and not to hide your head in the sand. You never know -- you may even have some fun yourself.
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