Wednesday’s Parent: Partying and your college-bound teen

Partying and your college-bound teen. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Partying and your college-bound teen. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

If you are a parent of a teen, you know partying no longer means party hats and balloons to your child. That means for parents, we must move forward and leave behind those heart-warming fond memories of children’s birthday parties. Changing the noun “party” to the verb “partying” often instills heart-stopping fear about our almost adult children’s celebrations.

Partying conjures up images of unhealthy self-indulgence and lack of self-control. The location of festivities may vary from a concert to a private home. The wild spree may be short-lived but the consequences may linger affecting future college and career dreams.

So what’s a parent to do?

Here are 6 tips to deal with partying and your college-bound teen:

Be realistic Banish thinking “not my child” and replace it with recognition of peer pressure and certain situations may strongly influence and prompt bad decisions for anyone.

Have a conversation Keeping communication flowing is the best way to know what is going on with your teen. She should know your position and you should know hers about alcohol, drugs, smoking, fighting, unprotected sex and other risky behaviors.

Be alert You know your child, his habits, likes and dislikes. Beware of warning signs such as grades dropping and personality/interests changes. Be ready to seek outside help if necessary from school and private professional sources.

Set an example Children are natural learners and great imitators. Teens can’t wait to model adult behavior. Now is a good time for parents to take a fresh look in the mirror to see themselves as their kids see them. Since nobody’s perfect, expect to make some changes for both your and your child’s benefit.

Don’t become a challenge Parents also may have a past they are not proud of. Sometimes they may want to relate a personal story as cautionary tale. Be careful of this type of reminiscing because teens may see it as a challenge or not such a bad thing if a parent did it.

Be a back-up Let your teen know he can count on you in good times and bad. Be his plan B to get home and his out to save face with his peers.

For a great list of parting safety tips for teenagers, click here.

Read Suzanne’s post: Wednesday’s Parent: It’s Party Time Again


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

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