My son is about to go to his first school ball after party. I remember my after party, it was messy! How do I get him to tell me details about the after party so that I know he is safe, but still lets him have his freedom and some fun?
06 May 2021
The reality is that at most after parties, alcohol is present. But there are a few things you can do to make sure that your son is safe in this environment. Setting some ground rules around pick up and drop off times, how much alcohol he is allowed to take with him, and who he is going with, is important. Talking with other parents of teenagers attending the party is also a good idea – this helps wade through the possible miscommunication that might come through from your son about details. If all the parents are on the same page, it makes it easier to enforce those ground rules. Don’t be afraid to talk to the other parents, they will be just as unsure as you, and will probably appreciate the phone call checking in on the details.
My son came home late on Sunday morning after a big Saturday party. He’s really hungover and has been throwing up ever since he got home. I want to talk to him about it, but I’m not sure how. What do I do?
06 August 2020
Now is not the right time, park your frustration and ensure that he is safe, monitor him make sure he is hydrated and fed. Then when he is over his hangover pick your time, find a quiet moment to talk to him about safe drinking. Have a look at the No Safe Limits website (http://nosafelimit.co.nz/) for ideas.
My daughter is really upset about some photos that were taken at a party last weekend of her getting really drunk have been posted on Facebook. What can we do?
05 August 2020
Be there for your daughter, this is now a reality of being a teenager, so be supportive and understanding. Check what she has been thinking about doing about the situation. You could help her brainstorm a list of options and then work with her on which options would work best in this situation (see the links below). A practical step would be to report the photo to Facebook and get it taken down. The person who put up the photo will get a warning (Right-click on the photo and click report it). https://www.facebook.com/help/814083248683500?helpref=uf_permalink
Netsafe also has great resources about keeping safe online https://www.netsafe.org.nz/
Finally, reassure her that this situation and how she’s feeling will pass, that you love her and think she’s awesome and that you will help her with any of the options she wants to go with.
I was going through some washing and I found a fake ID with my son’s name on it, what should I do?
05 August 2020
Be up front that you’ve found it. Let him know that it is illegal and there would be consequences if he got caught using it. Remove and destroy the fake ID.
My son is 15 and has been invited to his mate’s 16th birthday party this weekend. I’ve heard on the grapevine that there will be alcohol available at the party, what should I do?
04 August 2020
It’s OK to set some ground rules, so take some time to work out what yours are. The No Safe Limits website is great resource for parents (http://nosafelimit.co.nz/). Then talk with (and listen to 😊) your son. Check the details of the party with him and how does he feel about going. Let him know what limits you are setting and check that he understands. It is best to assume that there will be alcohol at the party and so discuss how you and he will handle it. It is OK to check how his mate’s parents are going to manage the party, including whether they are allowing alcohol at it. It is also OK, but not always easy, for you to say no.
I’ve talked to my child about drinking at parties, but they just eye-roll me and go silent. How can I start a proper conversation?
03 August 2020
Pick your time, find a quiet moment maybe when you are doing something together like going for a drive, doing the dishes. Make sure that you and they are calm. Think about your body language, (be at their height, have kind face, etc.) and your tone of voice (conversational, warm, that sort of thing). Start with something non-threatening, for example, “I’ve been wondering about how you and your friends are keeping each other safe around alcohol at parties and just wanted to let you know that you and I can talk about anything.” It could be a good idea to stop there and come back to it at another time when you are both calm. You don’t have to nail the whole conversation first time. It’s better to set things up for a dialogue.
I’ve just had a text from a parent I haven’t met about a birthday party this weekend. They’ve said it will be a sleepover and there may be alcohol there. How do I respond?
01 August 2020
Be clear about what your ground rules are in relation to your child and alcohol – remember, you don’t have to give in to the ‘pressure’ to be the same as everyone else. Often other parents are worried about this too. Then give the parent a call and check the details and how they are planning to manage the alcohol at the sleep over and discuss your ground rules with them. Talk with your adolescent about the sleepover, your ground rules and your discussion with the other parent. If you decide to let your child go to the party, talk with them about how to contact you if they are uncomfortable with the situation eg a text with perhaps a code word or phrase. If you go to pick up your child early from the party….make sure they know how AWESOME it is that they contacted you.