While some teen hangout locations somewhat formal -- a teen-centric club or recreation center, for example -- others are more casual. Whether your teen likes to hang out at the skate park or she's headed to a party at a teen club, it's important that you know what's really going on at her favorite hangouts. By setting clear rules for when and where your teen can spend time with peers, you can help your teen stay safe and out of trouble while she kicks back with friends.
One of the most important factors of safe hangout spots is adequate supervision. When left alone, teens might be more likely to influence each other's behavior. Any hangout location should have some type of adult supervision available, whether it's the security team at a teen club or a parent's presence at a teen party, warns the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control website. Proper supervision gives you peace of mind that rules are being followed and that your teen is staying safe while she's hanging out with her peers.
The rule should be clear to your teen before she even leaves the house -- absolutely no illegal substances should be consumed at any of her favorite hangouts. In fact, any hangout that would allow underage drinking or drug usage should be avoided and reported to the proper authorities. That's why hangout locations that only allow teens are better choices than all-ages clubs where alcohol may be served or brought and distributed by older individuals.
A report by Consumer Affairs found that some teen hangout activities might not be as innocent as they looked, citing an instance where a DJ at teen club was encouraging teens to behave inappropriately. Check ahead to see what type of activities will be available to teens at a hangout spot. In general, wholesome activities that keep teens busy -- ice skating or bowling, for example -- will engage teens and avoid misbehavior due to boredom or pairing off with one another.
Finally, set rules for the overall atmosphere of a teen hangout. You should know what type of music is played and how teens spend their time while at a particular hotspot. Bob Johnson, a club manager, tells ConnectingWithKids.com that you should consider the hours of the hangout, the area of the town in which the hangout is located and the general rules before giving your okay for your teen to attend. If you don't agree with the music and atmosphere of a hangout location, talk to your teen about your concerns and suggest a better alternative.