How To Throw a Great Party for Your Teen

Party for teenagers

Statistics say that teens are most likely to consume alcohol and participate in inappropriate activities during parties. It is also a known fact that too much parental participation at a teen party may embarrass your child "for life." Finding a balance between cool parent and responsible parent can be difficult at best. Here are steps you can follow to help you strike a balance between a great party and a well-supervised party for your teen.

  1. Have a talk with your teen about the party. Set expectations in advance.
  2. Set a limit for invitees. Just like in any restaurant or elevator, there are a maximum number of people that should be in a house before it becomes a hazard to the occupants. Having too many cars around your home or too much noise may also anger your neighbors.
  3. Know who is in your home. Your teen needs to let you know whom you are inviting into your home and how to get in touch with their parents (by phone and email). They will protest, but you can reassure them that you will only use the information in an emergency.
  4. Keep it legal. The legal drinking age is 21, not 12. There should be no alcohol of any kind at a teen party. There should not even be alcohol on the premises. Avoid having a combined teen and adult party for this reason.
  5. Set physical boundaries for the party. Decide if it will be inside, outside, in the basement, or somewhere else. Make sure the teens stay within those boundaries and that no one--or no couple--sneaks off.
  6. Provide lots of refreshments. Thirsty or hungry teens will go out searching for food. Keep them from getting into trouble on the streets by providing lots of food and non-alcoholic drinks. Do not serve punch. It could easily be spiked.
  7. Plan activities: Games may seem lame and nerdy, but an occupied teen is a teen out of trouble. Some games teens might enjoy are twister, Scene it, Karaoke (depending on the crowd), or perhaps a "who-done-it" themed game. If the prizes are good enough, they will play. For prizes, provide coveted CD's, iPod and cell phone accessories, rude t-shirts, and sports equipment.
  8. Have a themed party. This is another great way to keep control over the party. With a theme party, you can insert more planned activities. Consider having several activities going on at the same time. Having a mini-carnival or a sock hop is a clever way to insert lots of activities without the teens realizing they are being kept busy. Set a time limit for the party. Have a definite start and ending time for the party. If parents are picking up teens, let them know by what time they should return.
  9. Supervise the party....from a distance. Be present at the party, but not a part of the party. Do not embarrass your teen.
  10. Be prepared for emergencies. Accidents are called accidents for a reason. You never know when they might happen. Be prepared in case someone gets hurt, has an allergic reaction, or a fight erupts.

 

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