Social Hosting

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 hand.
  • 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, including alcohol. Never let them drive - you could be liable if an accident occurs.
  • 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 ride if 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 trusted family while you are gone.


Gengler, C. (2007). Teen Talk Fact Sheet: There’s a Party, Can I Go?St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension.