Your presence at the party will help keep the party running smoothly. Your presence will also give you an opportunity to meet your child's friends. When possible, do not have the party in a separate part of the house. When the children gather on the main floor of the home, your presence will seem more natural and non-obtrusive. You may want to designate additional responsible adults to help chaperone the party. One adult for every 10 kids is a good rule to follow. With fewer adults, it is difficult to keep track of what is happening, and you increase your liability in case of an emergency.
All adults need to be alert to the signs of alcohol or drug use. Unruly guests or those who try to bring in alcohol or drugs should be asked to leave immediately. If anyone arrives at the party under the influence of alcohol or another drug, the child's parent should be called to ensure their safe transportation home.You may be liable both criminally and for damages if you furnish alcohol or drugs to a minor. Check with local officials or your attorney for specific laws, ordinance guidelines, and rules.
This will discourage people from leaving your property with the intent to drink or use drugs and return to the party.
Do not allow an open-house party. This type of party limits the control that both the parent and the children have over what happens at the party. Keep a guest list. Know the curfew laws for your area. Set time limits for the party that will enable children to be home before the curfew.
Set a date that is convenient for the parents, the child, and the guests. Avoid having a party on a day that is filled with school activities. Make certain that the parent has some free time before and after the party date to take care of preparation, party time, and follow up.A theme adds excitement to the party. Be creative and think of fun ideas. Some possibilities might be a luau, scavenger hunt, or TV show.
This will give you both a good opportunity to express feelings and concerns. Let your child know what is expected of him/her. When children and parents work together to determine the rules (and the consequences), the child is more motivated to help enforce them. Help your child understand your philosophy of non-alcohol and non-drug parties.
Do not have your child distribute invitations at school!! Find the address of each child and send the invitations in the mail. Do not allow non-invited guests to attend the party.
Notify neighbors that you are planning a party. Your child should contact close neighbors asking them to please let you know if there is too much noise. Also, help the neighbors understand that the party is being properly chaperoned and the hours that they can expect any minor inconvenience.
This will provide safety for both guests and neighbors.
As you and your child prepare for the party it is important that you plan foods that the children will enjoy. If you need some ideas, check out our "snack section." You may want to make preparing the food part of the fun. "Make your own" taco, pizza, or sundae can add a spark to the party.
As with the food, it is important to have your child involved with planning the activities for the party. You may want to also include the child's best friend. There are game ideas in this booklet. As a part of the activities, make sure that you and your child plan for the music that will be played during the party. Preview music for appropriateness. It is best to not allow kids to just bring music to play. You don't need to be surprised. If you need additional music, make certain that your child tells the other youth what type of music you have both agreed is appropriate.
You need to make a plan for the "flow" of the party. What will happen as the friends arrive? When will they eat? When will they engage in activities? It is best to plan this with the child.
If you need to be out of town, have a friend or relative "live in" while you are away. Indicate, to both the child and the adult, that there should be no parties in your absence.
Parents need to know when to pick up children after the party.
Be aware of the curfew laws in your community. Make certain youth will be home before the city and children's parents' curfew.
Make time to get acquainted with your children's friends and their parents. If, despite your precautions, things get out of hand, do not hesitate to call your police department for assistance.
Date of party
Theme of party
Determine how many children will be invited
Time and length of party
Identify who to invite
No alcohol allowed
No drugs allowed
No one returns to the party after they leave
Identify parts of the house that are "Off Limits"
Behavior expectations at party
No one leaves the party without the knowledge of the planning parent
Adults will be present and visible during the entire party
Other agreed upon rules
How will neighbors be notified
Plan the order of activities
Preview music for appropriatenessNow you're ready to have a great party!