You only have to read the headlines to know that a teen party at home can go horribly wrong. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Follow our guidelines and your teen can have a party at home that will be cool with their friends – and with you.
Keep the party off Facebook
It’s a good idea to keep your party off all social media sites. ‘Police discourage the use of social networking websites and email to advertise parties as information can be easily forwarded to others who are not intended guests,’ says Assistant Commissioner Carlene York, spokesperson for Youth for the NSW Police.
Register your party with your local police station
This doesn’t mean that police will pop in uninvited, simply that they have the party on their radar and will react quickly should the need arise.
Is your home suitable for the size of the event your teen is planning? NSW Police suggests that you do not allow people to wander around or congregate out the front of your house. Try to confine the party to a backyard, building or enclosed area, as it is easier for you to supervise guests – as well as not drawing attention to the party for any potential gatecrashers.
Think about alcohol before the party begins
If your guests are under 18, you can’t serve them alcohol. It’s against the law. If it’s an 18th birthday party, you’ll need an idea of who is and who isn’t 18. If you supply alcohol to, or obtain alcohol for, anyone under 18, it can mean a fine of $2000.
Do you need bouncers?
Think about supervision/security for your party. Consider hiring licensed security personnel, particularly if you are expecting a large number of guests. While your teen may not want you to attend the party, adequate supervision is essential for a teen party. After all, you are deemed responsible and liable for the outcome of any party, so you have a very real requirement to be there. You may need to negotiate with your teen with regards to your presence, but make it clear that the more guests, the more control is needed.
Have a gatecrasher policy
Gatecrashers can be a very real problem. If they arrive, act quickly. Ask them to leave and, if they do not, contact the police.
Prepare your home
Much as you would put things out of the way of marauding toddlers, the same rules apply here. And put your valuables somewhere safe. Just in case.
Think about where to put the bar
Think about placing the bar away from the front door and keeping it small so that people will not congregate there. Food and snacks should be plentiful and within easy reach.
Have a taxi service on speed-dial
Think about how guests will get home. L-plate drivers have a zero alcohol limit. Have the number of a local taxi service handy.
“A few simple precautions and thorough planning can reduce the risk of issues arising and ensure a good time can be had by those attending,” says York.
This article was written by Allison Tait for Kidspot, Allison is the co-author of Career Mums: a guide to returning to work post-kids (Penguin).