Hosting a Teen Party: Set the Ground Rules

12 Tips for Making Sure the Teenagers are Safe and Have Fun

teenagers at party
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In order for a teen party to be a success, it needs to be fun and safe for everyone involved. As the parent, you can ensure that your teen's parties are safe by setting a few simple ground rules.

Make the Rules Clear

Make each rule very clear to your teen. Write them down in black and white so there can be no disagreement on what has been decided.

The rules should be noted for all of your teen's parties.

Review the rules the day of the party so they don't forget!

  • Party Time: Set the time for the party and stick to it. Three hours from start to finish seems to work well for most teen parties.
  • Guest List: Keep the number of teens invited manageable. Smaller parties are much easier to manage and tend to be more fun.
  • Tasks: Split the workload and write up a to-do list for each of you. You should not be doing all of the work. Be sure your teen knows what they are responsible for. 

Establish House Rules

Your house, your rules! It is important to establish the rules of your home and make it clear to everyone what you expect at the party.

No Alcohol or Drugs!

Do not allow any illegal substances, including (but not limited to) alcoholdrugs of any kind, firearms, porn, etc. Remember that these are teenagers and their judgment is not the best.

Place a "There will be no drinking or drugs allowed." statement on the back of the invitations.

This rule needs to be made very clear to all invitees before the day of the party.

No Party Crashers

Do not have an open house. Tell your teen that they need to stick to the invitation list. Should you have party crashers show up at your teen's party, do not allow them in.

No Re-Entry

Do not allow teens to leave the party and come back.

This is a recipe for trouble.

Teens who want to involve themselves with drinking, smoking, etc. will leave a party, do the illegal activity and come back. Make it clear that should anyone leave the party, they are not welcome to come back.

No Wandering

Mark off an area in your home for the party. Party goers should not be in any other area of your home. If you keep the party contained, then it is easy to count heads when you make a walk-through.

Be aware of teen couples sneaking off into a bedroom or behind the trees for a little 'private time.' Watch for groups that want to walk out back for 'a smoke' or whatever else they have in mind.

The Teenage Guests

As a parent of a teen, you are well aware that they can be unpredictable. It is good to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. In all likelihood, your party will go off without an issue, but it is nice to have a plan in place.

Parent's Phone Numbers

Get a list of the guests with their parent's phone numbers. Keep this handy should anything go wrong or a teen breaks the substance rule. This lets you call the teen's parents to come and pick them up.

Does this seem too harsh? What is harsher is if that teen goes home and says you provided said illegal substance.

You could face charges.

Also, if your teen knows that you will call another parent, you can bet the other teens will know too. This may keep those who would normally try and pull a stunt from attempting it in the first place. It may also keep those bad apples from attending the party in the first place.

Accidents Happen

Accidents can happen, especially when a bunch of teenagers get together. Be ready with a bucket and rag to wash up spills and a first aid kit should someone get hurt.

    Chaperones and Other Parents

    Welcome other parents to call you and to attend the party if they want. This could mean more hands are available to help and chaperon.

    Don't Be the Only Chaperone

    There needs to be more than one adult in attendance. If no parents have volunteered, ask one of your friends, a family member or a neighbor if they would mind giving you a hand.

    Be Around

    During the party, 'be around.' While you do not need to be right there, front and center, all the time, you do need to be visible. Staying in your bedroom is not chaperoning a party.

    Refill the food, help start activities or simply walk through every 15 minutes or so. Your presence will do wonders when it comes to following the house rules.

    Be Kind to the Neighbors

    Inform your neighbors that you are going to host a party. If it is a big party, inform the police as well.

    When your neighbors are pre-informed about a teen party, they are less likely to get upset with the noise and worry less about their own property.

    The police are there to help should you have any problems. While I don't feel this step is necessary for small parties, larger ones can get out of hand and you may need some help. This is especially true for prom night or graduation.

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