Socialising, Parties and Celebrations Are Important to Young People
Parties and big events such as formals or schoolies provide young people with an opportunity to meet other young people and celebrate significant life events. But while it’s important to socialise for developmental reasons, it can also generate a range of factors that can increase the risk of injury.
Youthsafe works with individuals and organisations to investigate risks associated with socialising and develop approaches to keep young people safe.
For information on how we can help you address safer socialising give us a call on (02) 9817 7847 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Solutions for Risk-taking Behaviours in Teens
The first step in effectively managing risk-taking behaviours is to identify what risk is and how it impacts the lives of all of us. Understanding that you were once a teenager and looking back to how you yourself acted as a teenager is a great starting point for helping young people safely transition to full adulthood.
Young people’s risk-taking behaviours can arise from many causes including inexperience, experimentation, peer influence, mental health and developmental issues. While accepting that it is both normal and healthy for young people to experiment it is important to support young people to
better manage the risk elements in their lives.
It is of huge value for adults to model the behaviour they wish to see in young people: basically, to practice what they preach. Discussing the responsibility we all have for caring for ourselves and others and highlighting the consequences of poor or reckless behaviour can assist them to better identify the risk factors in their lives.
The Importance of Safe Party Planning
Party planning for children and young people is part of a parent’s job description. Parents want their children and young people to celebrate life with friends and enjoy an active social life as they become increasingly independent. Parents also want their children and their friends to be able to do so without causing harm to themselves or others.
We understand that teenagers often think that parents and rules are uncool but developing good plans together before a major social event like a party or a big night out is smart. Having an agreed fall-back or Plan B negotiated with your young person can be a source of reassurance as well as a useful default should the social activity take an unexpected and possibly harmful turn.
Key Questions to Ask Regarding Teenage Risk-taking
By asking the right questions and getting answers, you will help reduce any dangers that your teenagers may face while partying.
- A useful question to ask yourself and your young person when planning a party is, “what is safe partying?” In responding to this question be clear about the behaviours you will accept and those you will not. Agree beforehand on how you plan to deal with the use of alcohol and drugs, the possibility of dealing with anti-social or violent behaviour and the arrival of uninvited guests. Agree on what will be an acceptable level of noise and when and how restrictions will be imposed on loud music and general party noise. Agree on whether and what to communicate to neighbours prior to the event and maybe even notify the local police etc
- Develop a Party Safe Checklist which reflects the decisions you have taken in relation to what is acceptable and what is NOT acceptable.
The Benefits of a Party Safe Checklist
You may help your teenager set up a checklist when planning their next party. Responsibly organising a party for young people is a great way to provide assurance to both the young attendees and their parents that the party has been thoughtfully organised to provide an environment in which party-goers can enjoy themselves without the impacts of gate-crashers, excessive alcohol and/or drug use, bullying or violence.
- Inform local authorities of the party. This advance warning will enable them to keep an eye out for any risky behaviour. Gather a list of emergency contacts to have ready during the party and ensure that you have the contact details of all your teenager’s friends’ parents.
- Be sure that your teen understands that advertising a party widely can lead to uninvited guests intruding, which is often the cause of parties getting out-of-hand. Ensure that the party stays invite-only. You have the right to refuse entry to anyone you or your teen have not invited. Asking friends not to spread the news via word of mouth or social media is a helpful step in keeping the party restricted to those invited.
- Lock and close off all rooms that you don’t want guests to enter. Maintain sufficient lighting, as dark spaces can cause risky behaviours, and don’t permit alcohol or drug use by any guest under the age of eighteen. Encourage parents to pick up their children to ensure that they return safely home. Have public transport details at the ready for guests whose parents are not in a position to collect them.
Always remember that it is your party. You have the right to refuse anyone, and you have the right to ask any guest to leave.
Contact us today for further information.