How to Scare Your Teenager from Having a Party While You’re Gone


As a former teenager (many more years ago than I care to admit), I understand the simple desire to throw a huge party while your parents are away. Not only does it up your cool factor and make you the person with whom everyone wants to spend time, it also provides a safe place for you and your friends to drink it up illegally. As a mother of four, I understand the simple concept of never leaving my teenage (when they become teens) kids alone in my house for longer than an hour – no time to have parties then, suckers! In all seriousness, I have an opinion on this one; teens just want to do whatever they are not allowed to do because that’s all that seems good to them. They want to break rules and live on the edge because they think they know everything (I knew so much more than my parents when I was a teen) and they think that we parents are morons (boy, they have no idea). Short of saying home and not allowing your kids to throw a rager since you’re right there, what are parents to do when they have to go out of town and leave the kids behind for a night or two? I have a few simple solutions that might just scare your teen into leaving the house quiet – and I know they work because they worked on me.

Call Grandma

A simple solution to the party throwing phenomenon is to call grandma. Or Great Aunt so-and-so or Uncle whatever. Just call a family member or close family friend that lives nearby and let them know you are going out of town and ask that they either go stay with your kids or if they will drive by once or twice while you are gone so that you can have an update on how they’re behaving. It’s that simple. The threat that someone might be driving by – even if no one is actually driving by, is often enough to scare your teens into behaving since they don’t want to get caught. Knowing Grandma might stop by at any point in time to see what’s up is usually enough to keep kids in the right state of mind.

Talk to the Neighbors

Your neighbors could end up being your best friends while you’re away. It’s a super bonus if they are good neighbors with whom you have a friendly relationship already, but it doesn’t actually matter. You can let them know you’re out of town – if you trust them enough – and that you’re leaving the kids behind and to call you if there seems to be any abnormal activity in and around your home. Additionally, you can just lie to your kids and tell them you’ve done this so that they are under the impression that the neighbors have an eye on the house. If you are not comfortable talking to the neighbors about your absence, a little white lie could be the best situation with your kids.

Have a Security Camera

What a genius idea. My kids are never going to be able to do anything untoward in our home, because there is an app for that. With our ADT security system, we have cameras in place in various areas around the house. What this means is that kids won’t be able to drive or walk down our driveway without us receiving a text notification when the camera over there is activated by the motion – and recordings of that motion. The same goes for the front door, the back patio doors, my office door, the garage door and every other door in the house. We get a text message sent immediately to our phones so that we can use the app to see who is in our driveway or at our door. It’s pretty awesome and majorly sweet. it gave us a huge feeling of peace and comfort while we were away this weekend, knowing that we could see who was at the door (the delivery man) and what was going on at our house. Your kids will be terrified of your ability to see things or know when the cameras have been disabled.

Let a Few Secrets Slip

The good news about parenting is that kids assume we are a lot stupider than we really are. They assume that they are masters of disguise and hiding things, and that we have no idea what is really going on. They have no idea just how much of their lives we are aware of thanks to simple things, like overhearing their conversations with their friends, talking to teachers and even speaking with other parents. They just don’t know. Scare your kids into staying on their best behavior while you are gone by remembering to mention a few little things in front of them they thought were secret from you. They’ll wonder how you found out, they’ll think that you know everything, and they’ll be of the mindset, “If mom knows that, she must have some sort of superpower because that was a total secret,” and you’re good to go.

Provide a List of Consequences

Kids are mostly good if you give them the kind of love and attention and affection that they need. But then again, sometimes they’re just in it to have a little fun. What you have to do is make sure they know just how little fun they will really have. For example, you can terrify them by providing a list of consequences for having a party while you are gone. I like the idea of attaching that list to the door of the fridge, putting one on the seat of their car, placing on in the laundry – everywhere, so that there is always a reminder.

Let the note read all that will happen immediately after you get home if you find out there was a party thrown. Start with the loss of electronics; cell phones. Then remove television privileges, going out privileges, the next big event (homecoming or prom) or take away their car keys and designate the bus their newest driver. Whatever you have to do, make it really scary for kids; a few hours of fun is often not worth weeks of not being able to drive, text or communicate with others.

Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images


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