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Decoding your Teen’s Language on Parties

Decoding your Teen’s Language on Parties

Parties are an important part of our culture in the United States. We have them often, and for every occasion you could think of. Parties are everywhere. Each one requires a huge amount of planning such as creating guest lists, crafting decorations and sending out invitations.

It’s in all those details that we know what a party includes. If it’s a dinner party, we assume there will be a meal. For a pool party we expect a pool, and for a birthday party we hope for cake. Each of these events is defined by what kinds of refreshments and entertainment comes with them.

The trouble is that any of these parties can have alcohol at them, even if their names don’t specify that they do. It’s important to talk to your teen about their party plans and get as much information as you can beforehand to know what the party or social gathering will include.

Being familiar with the different phrases that teens use to refer to parties can help you know what questions to ask them, and what topics to discuss before they go out with their friends.

“A Get-Together”
This saying can be used for many things that your teen might go to. Depending on how it’s used it can mean many things, from a study group to a big party of people. Regardless, of which you may think it is, you should always ask questions to clarify.

First, make sure to ask where the “get-together” is going to be. A person’s house? A coffee shop? The mall? There are many ways to get clarity in this area, and it’s very important to be aware of where your teen is going. If possible, it can also be a good idea to ask them to let you know if they plan on going to another location afterwards and to figure out a time they’ll be home.

Second, it is important to ask how many people are attending the get-together. Try not to settle for answers that do not give an actual quantity, and do your best to get a number. This can give you an idea if the gathering could get out of hand if it isn’t supervised. Also, asking who the people are is a good idea. Checking to see if there are any trustworthy parents or other teens in the group can set your mind at ease.

“The Rager”
This slang word can be a little confusing. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a rager is “a wild party, typically involving the consumption of alcohol.” Several things about this definition can bring red flags to the minds of parents.

One thing is that a rager is a party with a huge number of people. When a lot teenagers are together it’s important that there is adult supervision. When there isn’t any, parents run the risks of alcohol entering the situation.

With the high number of individuals at a rager there comes a higher chance that one of those teens may bring alcohol. While the alcohol may not come from the home the rager is in, it can very easily end up there.

It is safe to assume that keeping your teen away from a party labeled a “rager” is a good idea.
If your teen is caught at a rager that has alcohol, and they do choose to drink they can get into serious trouble with law enforcement for underage drinking. Additionally, if after the party they choose to drive while intoxicated their whole world could change. Drinking and driving is illegal in the state of Missouri and can result in life changing consequences.

Always make sure to talk to your teens about the parties they attend. Make sure they know the consequences that could fall on them if they do choose to attend a party and drink underage. Get as much information as you can about the party in advance, and consider all of the details before you give your teenager permission to go to one.

Kaitlyn Inman
kaitlyn@missourisafeandsober.com
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