Time to party
At a glance
- Parties are part of a teenager's social life and a way for your teen to develop social skills.
- Keep up with what is going on in your teen's life and get to know their friends.
- Talk to your teen about your concerns such as hosting or going to parties.
- Planning is the key to a successful and safe party.
Know the law about supplying alcohol to people under the age of 18.
Parties are part and parcel of teenage social life and help mark the move from childhood to adulthood. While most parties go off without a hitch, celebrations can go wrong and get out of hand – particularly if the party is unplanned.
Here are our tips to help ensure your teenager and their friends have fun but remain safe.
Hosting a party
Communication and careful planning are the keys to hosting a great party. While the internet and social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter are great tools which can be used to spread the word quickly, they can increase the chance of gatecrashers turning up at your home.
Tips to avoid common party pitfalls
- Have a starting and finishing time for parties and decide if some areas of your home are off limits.
- Create a guest, or invitee list, and send personal, written invitations to avoid uninvited people turning up at your home. Consider hiring security guards to deter gatecrashers.
- Lock away valuables and items that could be easily broken.
- Let your neighbours know about the party and provide them with your contact number should they have any concerns.
- Ask older family members or friends to help set up and supervise the party.
- Organise some fun, party activities.
- Let the local police know you are hosting a party. You can register your details online through the NSW Police Force My Nite website.
- If alcohol is going to be served do not supply alcohol to people under the age of 18. In NSW, except in specific limited circumstances, it is illegal to sell and supply alcohol to people under the age of 18 and carries a maximum penalty of $11,000 or a $1,100 infringement notice and/or 12 months imprisonment.
- Pre-plan your response to people arriving intoxicated or becoming intoxicated at your party, or bringing along other drugs.
- Have plans in place to deal with underage guests or others who bring alcohol along and attempt to supply them.
Going to a party
Parties are a way teenagers develop their social skills and interact with their peers, but like anything maintaining a balance is best. You may also have concerns about supervision, location and party arrangements. To help you make a decision consider:
- discussing any concerns and negotiating some conditions, such as a curfew
- contacting the host's parents to check details such as adult supervision, location and arrangements regarding alcohol and transport
- discussing with your teen how they will get to and from the party. Will you do the drop-off/pick-up? Will they travel by taxi, take public transport, stay the night at a friend's place or car pool with friends' parents?
- giving your teen enough money for a taxi fare home should they need to return early or travel plans change (eg the designated driver decides to drink).
- Making sure your teen has a way to contact you should they need to (eg access to a phone, mobile phone, a phone card or change to make a call from a public phone).
What are your best tips for hosting a teen party?
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