Planning a party for your young person can be a daunting task. I speak to parents about planning a party or planning for their young person to attend a party. Some of the responses are ‘Well, I know I’m never hosting a party at my house.’
Our aim is to encourage parents to enjoy this time and celebrate the successes of their young person. We also want to support parents to make positive choices for the wellbeing of their young person and their friends, whilst protecting the parent’s duty of care obligations.
It is important to remember that most parties for young people are fun, enjoyable and considered a success. Unfortunately, the media can direct attention to all the parties that go wrong. Some of these parties occur when young people have planned a party without their parents knowledge.
Planning a party
So, what are some tips that you can have if you’re planning a party at home?
1. What time will the party start?
Young people and adults generally have a different idea for what time the party should start. From my conversations with parents and young people in our Party Safe Education™ seminars, young people would suggest a start time of between 7pm and 9pm whereas parents opt for between 6pm and 8pm. It is always important to remember when planning a party, the earlier the party starts, the earlier it is likely to finish. An earlier start time is also a great excuse to include a meal in the celebrations (if this is financially possible), particularly if young people are drinking. Just a fist full of food allows for alcohol to be absorbed slower into the body and reduces the likelihood of the brain freaking out at the sudden increase in blood alcohol concentration. This also reduces the likelihood of the brain sending a message to the stomach to remove all of its contents. Obviously, the age of the young people and the parents opinions on drinking will influence decisions about the provision and acceptance of alcohol.
2. When would you like the party to finish?
More to the point, what time would you like to be tucked up in bed? There is a bit of a trend towards removing an exact finish time from the invites e.g. 7pm until Late. This is something to avoid. Suggesting ‘Until Late’ on the invite sends the message to guests that they don’t have to arrive until late, because the party will be going all night, right? Therefore, when planning a party ensure the guests know the exact finish time. Like the start time, if there is more than one party for that night, guests will know they have to arrive at the second party much earlier if they want to be part of it. Hopefully, this will ensure your young person has their friends there for the whole night to enjoy it with them.