Parent Guide to Hosting Teen Parties

Parties are an important part of young people’s lives for socialization, relaxation, and entertainment. Unfortunately, hosting or going to a party often includes other activities that could prove harmful to teens. Parents have the right to expect that social situations remain free from alcohol/drug use and other risk-taking behaviors. The purpose of this section is to help parents guide teens through times when pressure is great to engage in unhealthy behavior.

10 Tips for Hosting a Party:

  1. Set the ground-rules with your teen and his or her friends before the party. Set clear expectations and specify consequences if expectations are not met.
  2. Encourage small parties that are invitation only as they are easier to control and monitor. Do not allow for last minute changes.
  3. Contact parents of every attendee before the party. Share your expectations of a sober event and ask parents to share these expectations with their teen. Invite other parents to stop by and help chaperone. If a teen is sleeping over, ask her parents to check her bag prior to leaving their home. Obtain cell phone information for all attendee’s parents.
  4. Check your entire home prior to party, including all entrances and check for hidden substances in bushes around the outside of the house, removable ceiling tiles, window sills, storage areas, etc. Remove all access to alcohol and prescription drugs.
  5. Notify the neighbors and the police when planning a large party.
  6. An adult chaperone should be present and visible throughout the party. Do not allow siblings to chaperone and do not remain in a different area throughout the party. Monitor all entrances/exits and watch for inappropriate or prolonged activity outdoors, in restrooms, or elsewhere in your home. Do not have your own guests over unless they agree to help chaperone.
  7. All keys should be collected when guests arrive. All keys to the home and family car should be safely locked away.
  8. Anyone who leaves the party should not be allowed to return. If this happens, notify the guest’s parents.
  9. Be alert for signs of alcohol or other drug use. If you suspect a teen is intoxicated, call 911 and then call their parent.
  10. Do not hesitate to call the police if the party gets out of hand. You will not be charged with social host if you call the police.

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