Parenting - - Time Out -

Yshares tips on how to throw a safe birth­day party for your teen (that they would still in­vite their mates to).

ou 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 outof-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.

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.

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. Just burst in singing with the cake if things look like they are get­ting sketchy.

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.

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.

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.

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