By Sandy, a local parent and CSUCI student
I admit it, I avoided this “Reality Party” idea when my three kids were in high school. My role this past week was to play the cool mom, letting the kids drink and have fun. This wasn’t a stretch for me. Even my kids made a joke about me playing this role. The horrible things that could have happened at my house while kids were drinking… I don’t want to even let my mind go there.
So here’s my confession: my youngest son’s high school graduation party had a keg of beer. We had a ton of relatives visiting, and his brother and sister were old enough to drink along with all of their friends. I admit it, I wanted to be the cool mom and was honestly celebrating this moment – finally all my kids are out of high school! The party went well, with no issues until the next night.
Apparently, my son had told a few friends to come over for a drink, and then someone posted about it on Instagram. I was in my room watching TV, and I thought a few kids were over and I’d go see how they were doing… My house was completely packed with kids!! None of them looked familiar. They were sitting on my couches, eating the snacks on my kitchen table, using my bathrooms, and playing beer pong outside. I could barely walk through my own house or backyard.
How did this happen so fast?! My daughter came in, and I asked her to help get them out. She yelled, “This is the owner of the house and she wants you out now!” They left calmly with a group still hanging out on my driveway for a while until I asked them to get off of my property. Geez, what were my neighbors thinking??!! Wow – that could have turned out so bad. It really scared me.
The Reality Party for Parents that I recently attended brought all of this back. Would I have done things differently if I had attended a Reality Party years earlier? I like to think so. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been so trusting to let my son have a few friends over. Perhaps I’d have talked to him about posting party info on social media. Perhaps I would have gotten rid of the keg that afternoon.
Having a cop tell me that I could go to jail while role playing at the Reality Party definitely hit home. My advice to parents: be honest about what you have done in high school and what you have learned; be honest about how you feel about your kids drinking; set rules and hold to them; hold your kids accountable and set expectations. Tell them every day you love them, and everyone will survive these important years.
Our next Reality Party for Parents is on April 27th in Thousand Oaks. To register for this event, click here.
To learn more about our Reality Parties for Parents, click here.