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Birthday parties & sleepovers

At a Glance: Common Party Pitfalls for High-Schoolers With Learning and Attention Issues

By Lexi Walters Wright

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High school parties are prime social events. But it can be difficult for teens with learning and attention issues to feel comfortable at them. Learn why, and how you can help.

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At a Glance: Helping Your High-Schooler Avoid Party Pitfalls

High school parties can be exciting but tricky for kids with learning and attention issues to navigate. See these top high school party pitfalls.
Make it clear to your teen that you’ll gladly pick her up if she’s uncomfortable about a situation. All she has to do is call.

There’s friend drama!
Why it’s problematic: Emotions run high for teens. At parties, relationships are formed and broken. Feelings escalate and fights break out. She may be overwhelmed by this drama—or she may find herself in the middle.
What you can do: Get to know your child’s friends. Before a party, ask her whether she has any concerns about the people who’ll be there. Talk through strategies she can use to stay out of conflicts.

Everyone is pairing off.
Why it’s problematic: Romantic relationships are common in high school. But if your teen isn’t seeing anyone (or isn’t ready to date), she may feel uncomfortable going to parties where couples are together.
What you can do: See if your child can go to the party with another single friend she trusts. And if you aren’t already talking to your child about sex, this might be a good time to start.

Kids are experimenting with drinking and drugs.
Why it’s problematic: Some high-schoolers experiment with drugs and alcohol at parties. Your teen may be encouraged to try them. This might make parties more tempting—or more challenging.
What you can do: Be clear about your family’s policies about drinking and drugs. Talk specifically about not sharing prescription medications.
Graphic of Helping your High-schooler Avoid Party Pitfalls
Graphic of Helping your High-schooler Avoid Party Pitfalls

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About the Author

Portrait of Lexi Walters Wright

Lexi Walters Wright is a veteran writer and editor who helps parents make more informed choices for their children and for themselves.

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Portrait of Jenn Osen Foss

Jenn Osen-Foss, M.A.T., is an instructional coach, supporting teachers in using differentiated instruction, interventions and co-planning.

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