Rules for a Sweet Sixteen Party

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

A sweet sixteen party is a monumental occasion in the life of a young person. Celebrations may involve huge gatherings of friends and family held at special locations or small parties held at home with a few close friends. Regardless of the type of sweet sixteen party, as a parent it’s important to lay down some ground rules so your teen and her friends know exactly what is and is not allowed. Rules for a sweet sixteen party will vary depending on your teen’s personality and party style.

Tracking System

If your party is held at a location away from your home, request a check-in and check-out system. As parents supervising a large group of excited teenagers, the feeling of being responsible for so many people may be overwhelming. Implementing this type of system for the party helps you to know who is there and who has left. If security personnel are manning the door, request that they keep a sign-in log for party guests with the time each person comes and goes.

Drugs and Alcohol

The most important rule at a sweet sixteen party that parents need to enforce is that there be no drugs or alcohol. These substances are illegal for teenagers; make it clear that anyone found with these items will have to leave immediately. Set a good example by not drinking alcohol yourself.


To keep things in check at a large party, you may want to establish a rule of a certain number of chaperons per party guest. Make it clear to your teen that this will be a necessity at the party to make certain that there is adequate supervision to ensure the safety of all guests. It will also help make the evening less stressful for you as a parent, giving you the peace of mind that you won't be the only adult in charge. Once the final guest list is created, start asking for volunteer chaperons: Ask parents of your teen’s friends, family members, or friends of your own.

Uninvited Guests

Some people assume that it’s acceptable for siblings or friends of invited party guests to show up at the party. If this is not the case, make this known in your party invitations. Tactfully state that the invitation is only for the named person on the envelope. It can be a big drain on resources to have large numbers of unexpected guests show up.