Teen parties can be safe and fun if planned and thought out carefully. And don’t forget, there are legal
ramifications for you as a parent and your teen if you sanction a party where alcohol or other drugs are
present. (See Legal Ramifications)
Parties at Your Home
Following are suggestions for when your teen gives a party:
- Have your teen draw up a list of people invited. Remember that large parties can easily get out of
- Consider the place. A large outdoor party might be difficult to control.
- Help your teen decide how to issue invitations. They should state the party is not an “open house.”
- Talk about food, beverages, and activities. Lock up any liquor or valuable items.
- Work out a plan for “gate crashers.” Greet teens as they arrive.
- Specify no alcohol or other drugs. Have guests check “backpacks” at the door.
- Tell your teen ahead of time that parents will be called if anyone is caught with illegal substances,
- Never let them drive – you could be liable if an accident occurs. In Minnesota,
anyone over 21 who knowingly serves alcohol to someone under 21 may be held civilly liable for
damages caused by the underage person.
- Settle on the ending time of the party beforehand.
Parties Away From Home
Following are suggestions for attending:
- When your teen gets invited to other parties ask: where the party is, including the address; how your
teen is getting there and back; who will be there; what they will be doing; and the hours of the party.
- Call the parents to make sure they will be home – even though your teen won’t want you to.
- Stress to your teen that if plans change, they need to let you know. Give them a phone number where
you can be reached.
- Rehearse what your teen should do if he/she wants to leave. Encourage him/her to call you for a rideif needed.
- Remind your teen never to ride with anyone who has been drinking alcohol or using drugs.
- Stay up until your teen comes home or tell them to wake you when they arrive.
- Be suspicious if your teen frequently sleeps elsewhere after a party.
- Parents need to plan carefully if concerned about what will happen when they are away from home.Reconsider your plans if there is potential for a party.
- Ask a close relative or neighbor to keep an eye on things. Have your teen stay with another trustedfamily while you are gone.
Gengler, C. (2007). Teen Talk Fact Sheet: There’s a Party, Can I Go? St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota