Teenagers enjoy any opportunity to party with their friends over the long days of summer, but many teen parties occur when parents aren't home. That invites trouble, so if your teen wants to party, planning the shindig at your home is one way to encourage her to socialize while also being supervised by a responsible adult. There's no reason to restrict the party to just one gender, either. You can throw the best teen party that includes both boys and girls, but it takes planning and preparation.
Sit down with your teen and make a guest list. Keep the list small so you don't end up with more teens than you're able to handle. The HealthyChildren.org website recommends only 10 to 15 teens for each adult that will be present at the party. Let your teen know that only those on the guest list will be allowed to attend the party.
Plan activities for the party. Since it's summer, the teens can hang out in the backyard playing games. You might set up a volleyball net or croquet set so the teens have things to do. Bring out a music system and the guests can play music and dance. If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, your teen might turn the party into a pool party complete with beach balls and water toys.
Provide plenty of snacks and cold, refreshing non-alcoholic drinks. The best teen parties include teen-friendly food such as chips, pretzels, popcorn and soda. You might include vegetable sticks and fresh fruit, too. Keep alcohol away from the party area so the teens are tempted to mix their own cocktails. The best teen parties are safe in addition to being enjoyable, and alcohol can lead to dangerous behaviors. Remove that risk by locking your alcohol up so it doesn't become a temptation.
Establish a series of rules that your teen and her friends must follow. No, this doesn't make you the uncool parent, but instead it lets the teens know exactly what's expected. Enforce a no alcohol, tobacco or drug rule at your party and let the guests know that if anyone is caught with these items, you will call the parents and the teen will be asked to leave. Tell guests that if they leave for any reason, they won't be allowed back into the party. Tell them where they are allowed to hang out during the party and what areas are off-limits.
Supervise the party without hovering. If the teens know an adult is paying attention to them, they're less likely to break the rules. You don't have to watch every second of the action, but walk through the party periodically to check on things, refill the snack bowls or see if the guests need anything.
- You might set an end time for your party so teens know when it's time to leave or when to tell their parents to come pick them up. This will prevent guests from staying too late or from getting bored.
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