You might find yourself even more worried about throwing a party for your teen than they are. It’s risky territory for everyone. They want to have a grown-up experience that their friends will enjoy, and you don’t want an out-of-control party that causes so much mayhem it makes the news. Here are some ideas on how to throw an epic teen party without making the news.
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1. Don’t throw one
If you choose this option then the police won’t turn up to your house because some drunk kid called Bryce has set your letterbox on fire. This is also an option if the signs are clear they don’t want a party. Signs include, but are not limited to, your kid begging you not to throw them a party. You can just celebrate with them as a family and maybe a couple of good mates.
This takes the pressure off you needing to host and your kid is off the hook from that irrational fear teenagers have that no one will show up. They can just say, “Nah, sorry, guys. I’m just doing a low-key thing with my family. Feel free to shout me a pie for my birthday though.” If your teen does want a party, there are some other options.
2. The ironic kid party
All your years of experience as a mum have been leading to this moment. You can just throw an epic kids party with balloons and everything. Bake an awesome cake. Send out crafty invitations. Teenagers are happy to be at a kiddy party with a theme and party games if it’s ironic. They can laugh at how old they are and how they shouldn’t be playing musical chairs. But secretly, they love it. You don’t need any alcohol. You can have candy bars instead.
One of the most important life skills teenagers can learn is how to socialise without alcohol. It can be done! Just be aware that there is a thin line between ironic and tragic. You may cross that line if dad swings into the party dressed like Spiderman. They shouldn’t need too much supervision. Justburst in singing with the cake if things look like they are getting sketchy.
3. The LAN party
This might sound counter-intuitive, but one option is to overdose your kid on screen time. If they love gaming, then you can host a gaming party. They are called LAN parties because people connect computers and consoles with LAN (local area network) cables and over wifi. Everyone brings their own computer so it’s not too hard to set up.
These are popular and your kid will be happy to invite their friends. It’s competitive, it’s social and you don’t need alcohol. They can get dizzy on the fizzy drinks. Let them stay up all night in front of screens, make lots of noise and eat way too much sugar.
4. The formal dinner
You might not remember what this feels like, but teenagers are truly happy that they are getting older. “Finally I’m not 13 anymore!” They want to do mature things. Book a table at a restaurant and have a formal dinner. This isn’t hard to plan and has the bonus of no dishes.
The most important part to them will be documenting every second of it with a million photos. You could have a designated photographer for the night. The girls will love every minute of planning their outfits. The boys will look weird and uncomfortable in a suit and tie. It’s a dress-up party for teenagers.
5. The taxi driver
Teenagers usually only get to do one activity in one night. Give them the experience of endless possibilities. Teenagers want to go to a movie and then to dinner and then to Timezone and then to the park and then up a hill and then to the beach and then to get a frozen coke and then something else. Make your driving services available for an entire night. This option means you will be up late and listening to music that sounds like a noisy fax machine. They will love it and you’re around the whole time to keep them safe.
Attend a Toolbox parenting course
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