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It’s possible to host a fun and memorable party for your child that their friends and their parents will be comfortable with.
The planner is helpful when you’re deciding with your child how their party will be organised and run on the night, and makes sure everyone is on the same page. This includes how alcohol, smoking, and other drugs are going to be managed.
Print off the safe party planner and have a chat with your child – it includes the fun stuff, too, like what types of food and activities you’re going to provide.
Discussing the following can help make sure everyone’s got the same expectations about the party and has a good time.
Budget: Setting a budget will help decide the number of guests, the location, the type of entertainment, and catering.
Location: While you’re thinking about the location, try to consider:
Guest list: Talk about how many people you feel comfortable with, the ages of guests, and whether known ‘trouble-makers’ will be invited.
Start and finish time: Agree on the start and finish time, including specifics of when the music will be turned off and drinks stopped. A pre-determined time will make it easier to pull the plug.
It’s a good idea because police will be able to provide safe partying tips, let you know of noise regulations, and can help you out if the party gets out of control.
Written invitations have many advantages:
Having a theme for the party can help take the focus off alcohol. You can organise decorations, food, drinks and activities that tie in with the theme. It will help to make it memorable, and allow your child scope for creativity.
This can be a fun bonding time – you could start a Pinterest board together that you both add ideas to about the theme, decorations, activities, and food. Pinterest is a free and very popular platform that people use to share images, ideas, and plans. You can set up a joint, private board that you can both add to but only the two of you can see.
Keeping guests entertained is important, because it means there is more to do than drink. Spend some time with your child planning activities like:
There are lots of great DIY activities online, which your child could have fun organising with you and their friends.
There are risks involved if you choose to provide alcohol or allow young people to drink at the party. As the legal host, you are responsible for providing a safe environment and could potentially be held liable if anything goes wrong – even after the party, if the guests leave drunk.
Making a decision
When deciding whether to serve alcohol, consider the Australian alcohol guidelines which recommend people under the age of 18 should avoid alcohol.
If you do decide to serve alcohol, perhaps at an 18th birthday party, remember that most states and territories in Australia have secondary supply laws. This means that it’s illegal for you to serve underage guests alcohol without their parent or legal guardian’s permission, even if the party is in your home. It’s also illegal for guests to pass underage guests alcohol without this permission. Hefty fines apply for both adults and minors.
If you do provide alcohol at the party it’s a good idea to:
Confiscating alcohol and drugs
Even if you decide not to serve alcohol, you might have to deal with guests trying to bring alcohol and drugs into the party. Talk to your child about whether you’ll confiscate alcohol and drugs, including what you’ll do with these substances.
If you chose to return what’s been confiscated after the party is over, you could still be held liable for any accidents that happen after the guests have left. You can consider the option of instead returning the substance to the guest’s parent.
While you’re setting the rules for the party, talk about what you’ll do if a guest is drunk. Drunk guests can ruin the party for others and create dangerous situations. As the host, you have the right to send the guest home – but you should organise transport to make sure they get home safely.
You may want to set ground rules about smoking, especially if the party is in your home. If you already have rules about smoking at home they could be used for the party.
Make sure guests know the rules
Once all of these rules have been discussed with your child, you need to make guests aware of them. You could do this through a written invitation that asks the parent to RSVP on behalf of their child.
Gatecrashers can be a problem at teenage parties, but you can take a few steps to avoid them getting in:
Being a responsible host involves making sure your guests get home safely – and sometimes it’s hard for young people to make good decisions, including which drivers to travel with. It’s a good idea for you to: