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PLANNING A COOL TEEN PARTY

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/7/2006 | Social Issues

PLANNING A COOL TEEN PARTY 

With a little thought and care, a teen party may not turn out to be an occasion that parents dread. In fact, a cool teen party can actually be safe and quite a bit of fun for all concerned. Just follow our tips when you are planning that cool teen party and you will be known as the supercool parent among all your teens friends.  

Guest list: Ask your teen exactly how many guests he or she plans to invite. Remember that large parties can go out of control, so make it clear that the guest list needs to be specific. If your teen thinks his or her friends may land up with a large posse of other friends and friends of friends in tow, you have to be prepared for it. At all costs, make it clear that alcohol and drugs will not be allowed at the party. Also make it clear that your teens friends parents will be informed if they are caught with alcohol or drugs on their persons. Also, your teen needs to inform guests that you will not be holding open house and that entry is by invitation only. 

Venue: It is wiser to hold the party indoors because that makes matters easier to control. If your home is not big enough to hold a large-ish group, you might consider hiring a commercial venue such as a community hall. You have to keep in mind that the kids will want to dance and you may not want your home to be invaded by a potentially rowdy crowd that may incur the wrath of neighbors. 

General behavior: At the outset, ensure that the noise limit doesnt rise above a certain level. You dont want neighbors calling the police. Also, in a mixed gathering, watch out for inappropriate activity and guard against it. If you think the rowdiness is getting out of hand, consider shutting the music system down and lock up your liquor stock. Also, do not allow a guest in if he or she seems under the influence. Finally, remove breakable and valuable objects to minimize chances of damage. 

Time limit: Talk to your teen beforehand and fix a reasonable time when the party begins and ends. Discuss how the guests will get home. Make sure each guest knows that the party will definitely end at the agreed time specified on the invite. Just in case the neighbors object, inform them beforehand about the teen party so that they dont complain later. 

Music: We would not recommend too much parental interference here, because you dont really want to ruin the cool teen party by banning P. Diddy from the premises. However, you can and should set a limit on how loud the music can be, and a time for when it must stop.  

Food & drink: This needs to be there in plenty because teens can get seriously hungry. However, you can simplify matters by sticking to a few dishes and serving them in abundance. If you think it will help, ask your teen what foods would be most appropriate. Serve non-alcoholic drinks only, because you will be as liable as the drinker if you serve alcohol to U-18s or U-21s. Do not allow guests to bring their own soft drinks, because they may be spiked. 

Have some fun yourself and dont be too obviously there. In case trouble erupts, call the police or emergency medical services without delay. And find out how each guest will go home. And finally, get your teen to help clean up after the party!