Hosting Parties

Teens love parties. If your teenager wants to have a party at your house, how should you approach it?  Be ready! Teens are by nature, spontaneous creatures, so they may want to put something together quickly. 


Set the tone with guidelines:

  • Explain to your teen that you are legally responsible for anything that happens to a minor who has been served drugs or alcohol in your home.
  • Go over the party plans and activities with your teen (and his/her friends).
  • Encourage them to plan organized activities or to have a theme.
  • Let your teen know your expectations. Share your views on alcohol-free and drug-free parties.
  • Make a clear rule that no duffels, bags, water bottles or coffee shop cups will be allowed.
  • Find out what food and beverages your teen wants to serve.
  • Create and/or post guidelines for your home that give clear, concise rules and expectations.  Example of House Rules document
  • Decide on the guest list (10-15 youth per adult chaperone).
  • If you planning in advance, prepare party invitations, and avoid email invites as these can be forwarded to others, possibly putting you and your teen in a difficult situation with party crashers. (A creatively designed hard copy can be used for “admittance” and make a special memory for the evening.)
  • Avoid open house parties. They are difficult to control.
  • Set an exact end time for the party.
  • Notify the police when planning a large party.  This will provide safety for guests and neighbors.


Adults should be present throughout the party.

  • If you can, hold the party in the main part of the house. Your presence is more natural.
  • Bring out snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the night.
  • Designate other responsible adults to help chaperone.
  • Keep the lights on - it's easier to chaperone
  • Ensure that guests leave at the proper time to conform to curfew time

Alcohol or other drugs should not be served or allowed or available.

  • Be alert to any alcohol or drug use.
  • Uninvited guests or those bringing alcohol or drugs should be asked to leave.
  • Call appropriate law enforcement, if necessary. Do not allow anyone under the influence of illegal substances to go home alone or to drive.
  • Be ready to notify parents if anyone needs a safe ride home.
  • Anyone who leaves the party should not be allowed to return.


PDF of Toolkit