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As we approach prom and graduation season, we want to give our children opportunities to celebrate and connect while staying safe. Unfortunately, this isn’t always easy. Even great kids with terrific parents can make bad decisions. Sometimes a party intended as a small gathering can get out of control. And especially if alcohol is involved, things can go downhill fast. But can parents be held liable for events that happen when they’re not home? And what steps can parents take to keep things from getting out of hand in the first place?
What Are Social Host Laws and How Do They Affect Parents?
Parents can face severe consequences for their underage children’s parties. Most states have Social Host laws that hold parents accountable for alcohol served on their property–even if they’re not present at the time. According to the Social Host Law website, if police find teens drinking on your property, you can be charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense under Social Host laws. Parents can also face a civil suit if someone is injured or killed at a party at their home. Prosecutors can also charge teens and minors as social hosts, which can be highly damaging to their educational and professional futures. So the best approach is to prevent gatherings from getting out of control. Unfortunately, most parents don’t find out about problematic parties until it’s too late. According to licensed therapist Sean Grover writing for Psychology Today, police traditionally track teen parties via:
- Social media
- Neighborhood complaints
- Visible signs of a party in progress
But once the police get involved, things have usually gotten out of hand, and law enforcement is less likely to just slap kids on the wrist, as they might have 30 years ago.
How Can Parents Keep Gatherings From Getting Out of Hand?
There are several strategies parents can use to keep teen parties enjoyable without getting out of hand:
- Set a clear no-alcohol rule with your teens.
- Host parties with a focus on activities other than drinking.
- Create opportunities for fun and connection without alcohol.
- Install video monitoring systems to keep an eye on your teens when you can’t be home.
How Can Home Security Help Me Protect My Teens?
Home security cameras not only allow us to monitor who’s coming and going, but they also help us monitor what’s going on inside the house. We can keep tabs on what the kids are up to, even when we can’t be present. Many of us are familiar with nanny cams for young children, but cameras can be just as essential in keeping an eye on teens. It’s not about spying on your kids. Instead, it’s about keeping your teens and their friends safe while protecting your own home and preventing damaging outcomes. Video monitoring allows us to protect our teens from devastating consequences for bad decisions while limiting parents’ liability. Surveillance deters intruders–like neighborhood teens jumping the fence to use your swimming pool, and technology lets you know right away when something out of the ordinary occurs. Video monitoring allows you to keep parenting when you’re not home, giving your teens independence and support at the same time. Features include:
- Motion-activated notification when someone comes onto the property.
- Visible and hidden cameras.
- Remote viewing and sharing, allowing you to watch and record from your smartphone when away from home.
Video monitoring is a deterrent to making bad decisions and also provides video footage if something goes wrong. Regardless of legal ramifications, we want to keep our kids and our neighbors safe, and security cameras are one more tool in our toolbox in this effort. Aegis Technologies has years of experience helping clients protect their privacy and keep tabs on what’s going on when they’re not home. It’s all about ensuring our kids’ safety and well-being while offering parents peace of mind.